Southamton, June 22: Former England opening batsman Geoffrey Boycott is licking his lips at England's challenge of taking on India when the World's No. 1 team tours Ole Blighty next month.
Speaking to a sports reporting agency, he expressed confidence in the current England side in throwing down the gauntlet to the visitors, provided a struggling Andrew Strauss gets his act together.
"I think we're ready for India," Boycott said. "England are in a good position. Everyone but Strauss is playing well, so unless we get serious injuries, we're ready."
Strauss completed the recent Test series against Sri Lanka , whichy his side won 1-0, with a poor aggregate of 27 runs in four innings. He however, is looking forward to find a groove by taking part in Somerset's game against India. He will no doubt be hoping to finetune his batting against left-arm seamers, a necessity that became all too evident while playing against Lanka.
"Strauss has a problem against left-arm seamers, so Zaheer Khan will enjoy that," said Boycott. "He needs to face a lot of left-arm seamers in the nets and get used to the angle. Right-arm bowlers coming round the wicket is a different thing altogether."
However, all seems hunky dory with the rest of England's batting line-up as Ian Bell, Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott have brought about a certain maturity in their batting.
"Cook is playing out of his skin, Bell is playing out of his skin, Trott's playing well too, and Kevin Pietersen played a fantastic innings of 85," said Boycott.
However, the player who stood out with his performance against Sri Lanka was the Man of the Series, Chris Tremlett. With his towering 6"8' frame, he made life perpetually unpleasant for the Lankan batsmen. Boycott pointed out that Tremlett's tally of 15 wickets at an average of 23.40 is testimony to his blossoming ability of carving a place alongside the three great giant fast bowlers - Curtly Ambrose, Joel Garner and Glenn McGrath.
So effective has his bowling been, that Tremlett has even edged out a struggling Stuart Broad for the new-ball. However, his real litmus test will play out when India take guard in July.