England tour of India - News - Cricket: England feels the heat on Indian tour
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2001, 22:29 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Hussain looking forward to Kumble, Bajji
Bombay: England's cricket captain Nasser Hussain said on Thursday his immediate task at the start of the Indian tour was to make the players get used to the heat."I want the boys to play as much as possible in the heat, they should get exposed to the sun," Hussain told reporters a day after the 16-man squad arrived here for a three-Test series.The retirement of former captain Michael Atherton and the non-availability of senior pros like Alec Stewart, Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick for various reasons, have made the current squad one of England's most inexperienced ever.Only Hussain among the touring party has played an international match in India before his One-day debut during the Nehru Cup in 1989.Hussain, with 63 Tests, and Graeme Thorpe with 69, are veteran batsmen, but seven players have played less than 20 Tests and four none at all.England hopes to take in the heat and humidity during three days of nets in this Western metropolis, before playing a local team in the two-day tour opener at the Wankhede Stadium from Sunday."With a young team like this, beating India in its own backyard is a huge challenge," Hussain said."There's a big difference in the game in India. The bounce is different, the spin is differentit will take a lot of effort by the younger lads to get used to it."Hussain, born in Madras before migrating to England with his family when he was five, said the Indian tour would toughen his players."To bowl to guys like Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and Venkatsai Laxman, and face Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh will be a good education," he said."Many of us have not played against these players. We are depending a lot on video analysis to study the Indian team."We will go into the series with an open mind. Let's see what happens," Hussain said.England has two three-day matches at Hyderabad and Jaipur to prepare for the first Test, which starts in Mohali on December 3. The second Test will be played in Ahemdabad from December 11 and the third in Bangalore from December 19.