Pick RP ahead of Sreesanth: Akram
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has suggested that Rudra Pratap Singh should be inducted into the playing XI ahead of Sreesanth along with Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar. He also stated that the Indian team has looked listless on the England tour thus far.
"I am happy to see RP Singh's return to the Indian team. He is a good replacement for Zaheer and is one bowler who can really trouble the English batsmen. His upright, seam-up action helps the ball slant easily and India will be tempted to play him ahead of Sreesanth," Akram wrote in his column for www.espnstar.com.
"Ishant and Praveen will complete the pace troika but this duo must not lose heart when a partnership is building. Having said this, I would have loved to see Laxmipathy Balaji in England. He swings the ball well and can work up a decent pace too."
Image: RP Singh
Photographs: Getty Images
'Not seen such a listless Indian side recently'
The legendary pacer was critical about the Indian team's body language terming it one of the most listless teams of recent times.
"I have never seen such a listless Indian side in recent times. The team has been just going through the motions and at Trent Bridge, the Indians gave the impression that they had thrown in the towel on Day 4 itself. Is this the sign of a team that's No. 1 in the Test rankings?
"Drooping shoulders, sting less bowling and schoolboy-like batting have made India look like a team that has no pride. This is not the India that we wanted to see in England."
Image: Indian players during the second Test at Trent Bridge
'Not much to write home about the current Indian squad'
Akram made no bones about the fact save veterans Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and to some extent Sachin Tendulkar, others have not shown any class in batting.
"Tours like England actually tell you the class and depth of a team. Except for Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and to a small extent Sachin Tendulkar, there is not much to write home about the current squad.
"I would reckon English conditions are the toughest in the world. England is more challenging than South Africa or Australia. Down Under, the wicket flattens out on the third day but in England the ball keeps seaming around," he added.
Image: Indian players leave the field
'Yuvraj, Raina not complete batsmen'
"So as a batsman, you can never be at peace on English pitches. One has to play each ball on its merit. One can forget the fuller length balls. Guys like Yuvraj and Raina may be hugely talented players but till they can handle seaming conditions with flair, they can't be called complete batsmen," he added.
"Too much is being made of Tendulkar scoring his 100th international century. I am sure Tendulkar himself doesn't like all the hullabaloo around it. For me, the team's success is more important.
"It will be great if Tendulkar can achieve the landmark, which he will. He looked good in the second innings at Trent Bridge but ran out of partners. At Edgbaston, Tendulkar will surely like to see more conviction from the Indian middle-order."
Image: Yuvraj Singh