As India take on New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in Southampton on Friday, Sachin Tendulkar has said overhead conditions will play a crucial role in deciding the match.
The former batsman told The Indian Express on Wednesday that the unpredictable English weather offers a different challenge to teams used to subcontinental conditions.
“I have noticed that in England, one has to respect overhead conditions,” he told the newspaper. “In India or the subcontinent, it is the pitch condition that keeps changing. As the match unfolds, the pitch crumbles and the ball starts turning. In England when there is cloud cover, the surroundings change, something or the other starts to happen off the surface.”
With India playing spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in a five-man bowling attack, the former batsman – who averaged more than 50 in England and Australia over a 24-year career – had suggestions for the team.
“I feel that spinners are able to do a lot in the air, if the ball is well maintained – if one side is shiny, it can be used to get drift. If an off-spinner is bowling, he can take the ball away from the right-hander in the air or change the position of the shiny side and try to get the ball to drift into the batsman – that is towards the middle and leg-stump line,” Tendulkar said.
The maestro said cloud cover and wind can also offer assistance to spinners. “In case the wind is blowing from off to leg, we can bring a left-arm spinner from that end where there is a chance to get a right-hander bowled or LBW. We can also get an outswing pacer from the other end or, for that matter, even an off-spinner who can get the ball to drift away from the right hander… All these elements come into play,” he said.