Ishant-Zaheer pair will be formidable in England
Pacer Ishant Sharma's return to form on the tour of the West Indies is good news for India, says former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, as he and Zaheer Khan "will form a formidable pair" in the upcoming Test series against England, starting later this month.
"I'm glad Ishant is back into form; Zaheer is also there," said Vengsarkar, after releasing veteran Mumbai curator Nadim Memon's book, Memon's Midas Moments, at the Cricket Club of India, in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Ishant, who was left out of the World Cup squad, rediscovered his touch on the Caribbean tour and emerged the highest wicket-taker from either side, with a haul of 22 wickets, three better than West Indies pace spearhead Fidel Edwards.
Image: Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan
India's batting vs England's bowling
Former India stumper Kiran More said batting will hold key for India in the series.
"It will be India's batting against England's bowling. If we bat well we will win. 375-400 should be the minimum total that will be required," said the former chairman of selectors.
Talking about the feeling of playing at Lord's, Vengsarkar, who scored three centuries on the trot at the hallowed venue, was of the opinion that the first day of the Test is special, with a packed crowd in attendance.
"It's a great occasion. I am a member of the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) and hope to be there (when India take on England in the series opener and the 100th Test between the two rivals commencing July 21), but am not sure," he said.
Busy campaigning for himself and his panel members ahead of the Mumbai Cricket Association's elections on July 15, Vengsarkar recollected the opening Test victory at Lord's and 2-0 series victory in 1986 under Kapil Dev's captaincy.
"We won at Lord's in 1986 and had a great tour to win the series 2-0. I hope the Indian team (led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni) also wins at Lord's (this time around)," the former India skipper said.
Image: Dilip Vengsarkar
Asked about what could probably be the last visit to England by master batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Vengsarkar said, with a smile, that one cannot be sure on this count.
"Tendulkar has scored a lot of runs in England and all over the world. I am sure he will do well on the tour," said the erstwhile stylish middle order batsman with 116 Tests under his belt.
He refrained from commenting on the Indian team's decision not to press for victory in the third and final Test against the West Indies at Dominica, saying he did not watch the match.
"I did not watch the match as I am busy with the MCA elections (in which he is contesting for the president's post)," he said.
More came to the defence of Dhoni and his men. "They are a positive bunch and they try and go for a win, unlike our days when we played for a draw," he said.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar