London: Legendary batsman Ian Botham has said England batsmen need to step up and deliver special performance right from the first innings of the first Test match at Ahmedabad to get a good result in their series against sub continental giants, India.
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“This may be a four-Test series, but if England want to make history by winning, the batsmen need to do the business from their very first innings,” Botham wrote in his column for the Daily Mirror.
“They have to set their stall out against India from the outset. That doesn’t mean batting aggressively – they can leave the fireworks to the fans celebrating Diwali. It just means putting a big total on the scoreboard,” he added.
“If they are rolled over cheaply then they could be goosed before the Second Test. It will be extremely tough to get back in the series if that happens,” he wrote.
Botham further added: “With England’s underwhelming record playing on their minds, they must assert themselves with the bat and go big. Anything less would hand India all the cards.”
“This is sink or swim for England’s batsmen. They’ve got plenty of experience in that lineup and they should have proved themselves as good players of spin or not by now,” he wrote.
“They have a small array of shots, they don’t like to leave the crease and their shot selection has been poor,” he further added.
“England have got it all to prove, and India are waiting to pounce. They will still be smarting from being walloped all around the UK last year and they will see this as the boot being on the other foot. I’m hoping to see something special from this team, because that is what it will take if they are to win,” he concluded.
First Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 13:05