Ganguly: England can get India in a spin

PA Sport
Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann can cause India problems, according to Sourav Ganguly

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Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann can cause India problems, according to Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly believes England have a major advantage on many teams touring India, and therefore should prove a match for their hosts.

The former India captain acknowledges a trial by spin will test England's mettle, with R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha expected to form a formidable partnership on responsive pitches. But unlike many who have travelled in hope, and returned disappointed, England have firepower of their own for the four-Test series.

Frontline spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar - the latter is not sure to be selected, depending on the balance of England's team - are talented enough to convince Ganguly Alastair Cook's tourists will be competitive, and he said: "They will face a challenge."

He added: "When teams like India go to England for Test series, they face challenges. This will be the same."

Ganguly is not among those, however, who reason England's failings against Pakistan spinners in their 3-0 defeat in the United Arab Emirates last winter inevitably means they will be doomed here too.

"Pakistan had two quality spinners - (Saeed) Ajmal and the left-arm spinner [Abdur Rehman] - it wasn't easy on those surfaces," he said. "England will have to bat well. But the advantage for them coming here is that they have two quality spinners (themselves) - which not many touring teams have.

"Not even Australia did when they were doing well - they just had Shane Warne, and we played him very well. A lot of people say Indians play spin well, so give them pace. Australia made that mistake in 2007 and lost here 2-0."

Swann, Panesar and maybe all-rounder Samit Patel will have much in their favour with the ball.

"There will not just be turn, but bounce," added Ganguly. "So they're a very good side to tour India, but it will all depend on how well they bat

"It's going to be a long tour, three warm-up matches and four Tests to follow, so a lot will depend on how much they want to be here."

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