Former opener Gautam Gambhir picked India as the firm favourites for the upcoming Test series against England. He believes India will register an emphatic 3-0 or 3-1 victory in the four-Test series, starting in Chennai on February 5.
"It has to be 3-0 India or probably 3-1. I'm only going to give a Pink Ball Test match, probably 50-50 to England just from the conditions point of view. I don't see England winning any of the Test matches with the kind of spin attack they've got," Gambhir said on Star Sports' show Game Plan.
India come into the series full of confidence following their 2-1 series win in Australia, while England will also be looking to continue the momentum after their 2-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka.
He lavished rich praise on Virat Kohli, saying India has grown under his leadership, especially in the Test format.
"Time and times again! Yes, Virat Kohli is the leader, but I'm sure he gotta be as happy as the rest of the squad as well, but at the same time, yes, he has done really well in Test cricket. I've always had question marks on his T20 captaincy. Never had question marks on his 50-over or his Test match captaincy. India has done really well under his leadership, especially in red ball cricket and I'm sure, India will continue to grow further, under his leadership, especially in red ball cricket," said the left-hander
Gambhir stated that the Indians will be keen to do well against England as it crucial to their chances of qualifying for ICC World Test Championship final.
"As any cricketer would say, it's not about hundreds, it's about the runs you can score to help your team win is very important. And yes, it clearly doesn't matter if Virat hasn't batted in Australia, obviously he would love to, but the most important thing is that he has to look forward to is the England series and he knows that how important the England series is if they want to qualify for the World Test Championship final," he sad.
Even though Joe Root hit two centuries to guide England to a 2-0 series sweep in Sri Lanka, Gambhir believes the right-hander might struggle to make the same impact against the Indian bowlers.
"This is going to be a completely different challenge for someone like Joe Root. Yes, he has played really well in Sri Lanka, but when you have to face people like Jasprit Bumrah on any wicket, or for that matter, Ravichandran Ashwin, when his confidence is sky-high after what he has done in Australia, I am sure it is going to be a completely different beast and a completely different ball game."