Facing India’s Seam Attack Is Going To Be Tough No Matter How Flat The Pitches Are, Says Ben Duckett On Cricketnmore

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    Sky Sports Cricket: Though a lot of spotlight is on the battle between England’s batters and India’s famed spin attack for the upcoming five-match Test series, England opener Ben Duckett said the challenge coming from the hosts’ fast bowlers will also be tough for the visitors irrespective of how the pitches behave.

    The last time England toured India in 2021, they won the opening game in Chennai. But after that crumbled to spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, who took 60 wickets collectively, to get a 3-1 win for India.

    For the upcoming series, Ashwin and Patel will be joined by Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav in the spin department. In the fast-bowling unit, though they are missing Mohammed Shami due to heel injury, India have the services of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan.

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    “People talk about how good India’s spin bowling is but at the top of the order against the seam attack it’s going to be tough no matter how flat the pitches are. I’ve obviously just played against, in my eyes, the best seam attack in the world this summer.”

    “I think the preparation in Abu Dhabi will be focused around facing the new ball spin. It’s going to be interesting, I don’t think I’ll get out blocking as many times as I did when I was last there,” said Duckett to the Sky Sports Cricket podcast.

    Duckett made his Test debut in 2016 on tour of Bangladesh and also played matches on tour of India in Rajkot and Visakhapatnam. After that, he was left out of the team, but has been a regular since 2022 when England embraced ultra-attacking style of playing Test cricket.

    The left-handed batter has also embraced a variety of sweeps to counter the spinners. He believes playing on pitches in India won’t have a shock value for him anymore, especially in facing Ashwin, who is 10 wickets shy of 500 Test wickets landmark.

    “I’ve played a lot of cricket since then and maturity is a big one for me in those years. The biggest thing this time around is that whatever India throw at me, it’s not going to be a shock. I’ve played on those kinds of pitches. I know full well what to expect when I get out there.

    “I wasn’t the last left-hander to struggle out there in those conditions against Ashwin. He’s so good everywhere. I’m sure he’s going to get me out again, he’s a world-class bowler. But I would back myself now on a good pitch or a flatter pitch to not feel like I have to play aggressive shots or sweep every ball.”

    “If those pitches are spinning, and with the way this team have played over the last 18 months, I know what my strengths are and I’m certainly not going to die wondering,” he concluded.

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