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Senior Indian players no more a potent force: Boycott

London, Oct 4 (UNI) Former opener Geoffrey Boycott believes that the England team will have its best opportunity to win a Test series in India later this year, as the Twenty20 Champions are in a state of flux where senior players are prolonging their careers just to fetch some more endorsement deals.

England will come over to India in November to play a seven-match ODI series and two Test matches.

In his column in The Telegraph, Boycott wrote that with the Indian team in a transition stage, England will have the best opportunity to win a Test series in the Indian sub-continent.

''A tour of India is traditionally considered one of the toughest assignments in the global calendar. Yet, I believe it would be a mistake for England to go out there next month with the aim of scrapping their way to a draw.

''This Indian team is in flux. They can be beaten, if you go hard at them. And, this is as good a time to try,'' Boycott wrote.

He further added that the senior players in the Indian team are no more a force to reckon with and prolonging their international careers for their own financial interests.

''India's new chairman of selectors, Kris Srikkanth, faces a huge quandary. The great Indian batsmen are long in the tooth and approaching the end of their careers.

''Some of them are desperate to prolong their international lifespans, not because they love the game, but probably due to the endorsement deals available. But, none of them are the force they once were,'' he added.

Boycott went on to write that the recent defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka, where the spin duo of Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Murlitharan demolished them, has sabotaged the confidence of the Indian batsmen who are considered to be great players of spin.

''Think of that period in the early part of this decade, when Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly reached their peak together. Shane Warne went to India three times and averaged over 40. They just batted him out of the game.

''Which is very different to what we saw this summer, when the Sri Lankan spinners, Muttiah Muralidaran and Ajantha Mendis, got on top of the Indian batsmen.

''That series, which Sri Lanka won 2-1, will have had a major effect on their confidence,'' Boycott wrote.


Story first published: Saturday, October 4, 2008, 11:32 [IST]
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