IND vs ENG: Anderson says England may open with two spinners in India

Anderson will be leading England’s pace attack. (Source:

England fast bowler James Anderson thinks his team will opt for two spinners in the XI, in the five-Test series against India beginning on January 25.

England have named four spinners in their 16-member squad. They are Jack Leach, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir. Leach is the only one with experience of playing red-ball cricket in India.

“We might open with two spinners. Your role (a fast bowler’s) changes a huge amount then. You come on third or fourth change with set batsmen in. That is the challenge of playing in India,” Anderson said in an interview with The Telegraph.

The squad also has four seamers, although Anderson doesn’t think they will end up bowling a great deal, given the nature of pitches expected to be on offer. However, the legendary bowler thinks they will still have a role to play.

“There are only four seamers going. So we will not be expecting to bowl a huge amount of seam. It is just a slightly different role. You might not bowl the overs you do in England, but they are still important. It probably puts more importance on spells you do bowl. These are the things we will pass on to the guys,” emphasised Anderson.

After a hiatus, Anderson has returned to the national set-up with renewed vigour. The seasoned pacer boasts a commendable record in India, having claimed 39 wickets and troubled stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar with reverse swing on past tours.

“Reverse swing will play a big part. There might be occasions where we don’t open with a seamer. We might open with two spinners,” Anderson added.

England was the last visiting team to secure a series victory in India, in 2012-13. But on their previous tour three years ago, India won 3-1, after losing the opening match in Chennai.

The first Test will be played in Hyderabad. Vizag, Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala are the other venues. Spin is expected to play a big part in at least the first three Tests. 

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