New Delhi: Former England captain Michael Vaughan has blasted India’s decision not to include a single spinner in their 14-man ‘A’ side.
“India to play no spinners against England in the A team warm-up game ... if that’s what the game has come to???? Pathetic tactics,” Vaughan tweeted, after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named the squad to be led by Suresh Raina for the practice game to be played in Mumbai from October 30.
Vaughan, who is currently appearing in the BBC television series ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ where he was in the bottom two of the dancers to be voted off last weekend, added: “I don’t think its (sic) in the Spirit of game. Prepare wickets which suit your team (spinning tracks) that should be enough… Poor form!!! India’s tactics are terrible for the game... It’s taking home advantage to a new level... Other teams might follow.”
Another former England player David Lloyd, who is also very active on Twitter, backed Vaughan’s criticism. “No spinner in India A team vs England....totally lacking in class and style decision,” he tweeted.
But England captain Alastair Cook was unworried by the perceived tactical ploy.
Anyone who has been there (to India) before knows there are a lot of net bowlers available to us and we can bat as long as we want against them and there are a lot of spinners we can face,” he said.
“We know what we have to do as a side in terms of playing spin from our experience earlier in the UAE (against Pakistan and Sri Lanka). We know we did not play spin very well at the start of the series in the UAE and we know we have got to start well in India and we are prepared to put the work in to do that,” added Cook as the English team prepares to leave for the tour of India.
The furore overshadowed comeback king Yuvraj Singh being picked for the India A squad on Wednesday.
Yuvraj, who has returned to cricket after recovering from a rare germ cell cancer, showed fine form in North Zone’s Duleep Trophy match against Central Zone by getting a double hundred.
The 30-year-old left-hander will be the batting backbone of the 14-member India ‘A’ line-up, to be led by Suresh Raina.
Post-recovery, Yuvraj had returned to competitive cricket in the World Twenty20 and a good performance in the warm-up game would go a long way in getting him the selectors’ nod for the four-match Test series against England starting November 15.
The squad, announced here by the new selection panel headed by Sandeep Patil, features six batsmen in all, including upcoming names such as Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Manoj Tiwary. Wriddhimaan Saha is the lone wicketkeeper in the squad.
The bowling attack of the side would be spearheaded by Irfan Pathan and he will have Ashok Dinda and Vinay Kumar to assist him.
The three-day game will kick off England’s three-month long tour, which includes a four-Test series, five ODIs and two T20 internationals.
— with inputs from agencies