England tour of India - Cricket: England can beat India, says Javed Miandad

Published: Friday, November 23, 2001, 17:55 [IST]
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London: Former Pakistan cricketer Javed Miandad on Thursday said that England could beat India in their forthcoming three match Test series despite the Indians' near impregnable home form."It is hard to beat India in India but England can do it. I think it will be a fascinating series because the teams are more closely matched than is being suggested," the former captain and coach said."In 1999, I coached Pakistan to victory in India (if you count the Asian Test Championship game), and the approach is vital," he told a Website.Javed listed 10 key points which ranged from the conventional - 'think positive', 'be flexible', 'forget Australia' (England lost the Ashes series 4-1 here earlier this year) to the intriguing. He told England to "up the heat on India"."They saved the second Test in South Africa but bad form and controversies are unsettling the Indians."They (India) have gone backwards since beating Australia. The weight of expectation is a big burden for the Indian players. If you put them on the back foot, the pressure on their players can become suffocating," Javed said.He also advised England not to fret too much about the threat from Sachin Tendulkar and the other Indian strokeplayers."Dont panic about Tendulkar and company. England should choose a particular line to bowl and stick to it. "The England bowlers showed they had the discipline to do that last winter. Yes, Englands bowling attack is weak and this is where England could lose the series. "But if England can keep Indias batsmen quiet, frustration and pressure will produce wickets from nowhere. Let the Indian batsmen make the mistakes."Javed was full of praise for the batting technique of Surrey left-hander and England middle order keystone Graham Thorpe, saying the rest of the side should follow his lead."He is watchful in defence, uses his feet, and plays close to his body. He also plays late, which is something you can do on slow turners. Thats why he was so successful last winter (in Pakistan and Sri Lanka)."His parting shot echoed the approach England's Madras-born captain Nasser Hussain tried to instill in his players on their last visit to the sub-continent."Make friends," Javed advised. "England players should forget the horror stories that they will have been told. India is an enjoyable place and the hotels, food, and culture are great. Off field contentment will breed on field success."

Copyright AFP 2001

Entland's tour of India

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