“One Kumar or one Bumrah doesn’t win you a 5-game series,” Lal said. “You need all the bowlers to fire as a unit. There is no scope of putting the foot off the pedal even for one session. The fast bowlers will also need to ensure that they build enough pressure for the spinners to come in and strangle the English batsmen and spin a web over the hosts.”
Sharma is the leader of the pack with 81 Test matches under his belt and Lal feels that with the experience of a recent county stint behind him, he should be leading the attack.
“He has played county cricket during the IPL and he clearly knows the areas to bowl in when the captain hands you the ball in England,” Lal said. “He needs to focus on the right areas and get the ball to seam off the wicket. If he can bring the county experience into his game, Virat Kohli will have a smile on his face.”
Shami too has been a vital cog in the Indian bowling machinery till some off field issues saw him lose track. But Lal says that these things need to be kept aside when you are playing for the country.
“What is this mental aspect that everyone is talking about? He is an international player and he should be professional enough when he has been picked. If he wasn’t mentally a 100 per cent, he should have made the selectors aware and not made himself available for selection. There is no place for complacency at this level and he needs to show the world that he is back and belongs here,” he said.
Yadav’s recent performances have disappointed Lal, who believes his inconsistency hasn’t allowed him to turn his talent into performances.
“He had a brilliant IPL, but after that, he has been bowling beautifully one day and doing a 180 degree turn in the next game. Where is the consistency? He is supposed to be your match-winner. When does he start winning you the matches on foreign soil? There is no denying the fact that he has improved quite a lot in the last few seasons, but consistency is an area he needs to work on still,” he said.
While the pacers will have to lead the attack, Lal feels the spinners also have a vital role to play in this series.
“The heat wave has ensured that the pitches will be dry and take turn. But then, they can come into the game only after the fast bowlers have done a tidy job. The England batsmen will find the going tough against the Indian spinners and they must take advantage of that and keep piling the pressure. But like I said at the start, individual brilliance might win you a game, it won’t win you a series. A series has to be won by the whole bowling unit,” he signed off.
england vs india 2018India vs Englandishant sharmajasprit bumrahKuldeep Yadavmadan lalmohammed shamiR AshwinUmesh Yadavvirat kohli
First Published: July 27, 2018, 11:48 AM IST