‘Their Spinners Are Better Than England’s’: Michael Atherton Predicts India Will Win Five-Test Series

Last Updated: January 21, 2024, 16:47 IST

Michael Atherton feels spinners will play the defining role during the Test series. (AFP Photo)

Michael Atherton feels spinners will play the defining role during the Test series. (AFP Photo)

Among the four spinners England have named in their squad, only Jack Leach has some experience having played 35 Tests so far.

Michael Atherton has picked India as the outright winner of their upcoming home Test series against England that gets underway from January 25 in Hyderabad. England will be touring India for the first time since 2020-21 when they lost a four-match series 1-3.

With England adapting an ultra-aggressive approach in Test cricket, eyes will be on how the Ben Stokes-led team fares on Indian pitches expected to aid spinners.

Atherton, a former England captain, feels that India possess a better spin attack and it will prove to be the difference between the two sides.

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England are bringing four specialist spinners for the India tour including Jack Leach, Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir and Rehan Ahmed.

“I think India will win. Their spinners are better than England’s and that will be the defining thing in the end,” Atherton told Sky Sports.

“If you go to India, spin will play a big part, it historically has done and I suspect it always will do. India do have a very strong seam attack as well,” he added.

On the other hand, India spin attack is quite varied and comprises Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel.

“India’s four spinners are very different to England’s. They have two left-arm finger spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. They have a wrist spinner in Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the greatest spinners of all time,” Atherton said.

Leach has played 35 Tests while Rehan has one Test to his name. Hartley and Bashir are yet to play Test cricket.

“England have a solid left-arm spinner in Jack Leach and then three very inexperienced spinners after that with Tom Hartley, Shoaib Bashir and Rehan Ahmed. It will be a particular challenge for them but the selectors see a high ceiling for them,” Atherton said.

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