Ishant, Zaheer would be formidable pair in England

The return to form of paceman Ishant Sharma in the West Indies tour is good news for India as he and Zaheer Khan would form a formidable pair in India`s Test series against England starting later this month, former captain Dilip Vengsarkar said on Tuesday.

"I`m glad Ishant is back into form. Zaheer is also there. They will form a formidable pair," said Vengsarkar after releasing a book of veteran Mumbai curator Nadim Memon at the Cricket Club of India here.

Ishant, who was left out of the World Cup squad, rediscovered his touch on the Caribbean tour and emerged as the highest wicket taker from either side with a haul of 22 wickets, three better than West Indian pace spearhead Fidel Edwards.

Former India stumper Kiran More said batting would hold key for India in the series against England.

"It will be India`s batting against England`s bowling. If we bat well we will win. 375-400 should be the minimum total that will be required," said More, also an ex-chief selector like Vengsarkar.

Talking about the feeling of playing at Lord`s, Vengsarkar -- who had scored three centuries on the trot at this hallowed venue -- said that the first day of the Test was a special one with a packed crowd in attendance.

"It`s a great occasion. I am a member of the MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) and hope to be there (when India take on England in the series opener and the 100th Test between the two rivals commencing on July 21), but am not sure," he said.

Vengsarkar, busy campaigning for himself and his panel members ahead of the Mumbai Cricket Association`s elections on July 15, recollected the opening Test win at Lord`s and 2-0 series victory in 1986 under Kapil Dev.

"We won at Lord`s in 1986 and had a great tour to win the series 2-0. I hope the Indian team (led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni) also wins at Lord`s (this time around)," the former India skipper said.

Asked about what could probably be the last visit to England by master batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Vengsarkar said, with a smile, that one cannot be sure on this count.

"Tendulkar has scored a lot of runs in England and all over the world. I am sure he will do well on the tour," said the erstwhile stylish middle order batsman with 116 Tests under his belt.

Vengsarkar refrained from commenting on the decision of the Indian team not to press for a win in the third and final Test against the West Indies at Dominica, saying that he did not watch the match.

"I did not watch the match as I am busy with the MCA elections (in which he is contesting for the president`s post)," he said.

More came to the defence of Dhoni and his men and said unlike in the past, the current team was always on the look-out for a victory.

"They are a positive bunch and they try and go for a win unlike our days when we played for a draw," he said.


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