Offspinner Harbhajan Singh is confident that India can achieve another Test series victory in England, saying the tourists have the ability to win on any surface.
India won their last series in England 1-0 when they toured four years ago, and have since progressed to the top of the ICC Test rankings following a string of impressive results.
While England have just finished a series at home against Sri Lanka, beating them 1-0 in a three-Test series, India are coming from the very different conditions of the West Indies.
“From what I have read and heard, there will be a lot of bounce and pace, and that we will get green wickets. We don’t mind, as we know we are capable of winning on any surface,” Harbhajan told the Hindustan Times.
“We have a side to beat England in England or outside that country. We need to bowl the right length, whatever the wicket. I have to go out and make sure I bowl according to the plan and take as many wickets as possible.”
England have also come on in leaps and bounds over the past two years and have the chance to leapfrog South Africa into second place in the rankings over the four-Test series.
“They are a good side and hopefully we will get the results we are looking for,” said Harbhajan, who bagged 11 wickets in three Tests in the West Indies.
“I am not one who sets targets and says ‘I want to take the wicket of a particular batsman’. I am playing against England and I want to take as many wickets as possible. I keep things simple.”
India will be back at full strength for the England series, having been without Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan during their 1-0 Test series win over the West Indies.
Harbhajan was one of the few senior players to make the trip, and he was rewarded with a new milestone when he became the third Indian after Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev to take 400 Test wickets.
“There could have been another four or five wickets, but unfortunately, there were a few half chances that didn’t go in my favour,” said Harbhajan.
“I have grown as a cricketer since I started in 1998. There is lot of cricket left in me and lot of things remain to be learnt.
“As long as one is willing to learn, this game has a lot to offer. I am excited about playing for another seven-eight years. If that happens, I see myself close to Anil and some other greats.”
The first Test of India’s tour begins at Lord’s on July 21, while the Test series will be followed by a one-off Twenty20 international and a five-match ODI series. Cricket365