Test Cricket Evolution: Ben Duckett Gears Up for Battle Against India’s Seam Attack

Ben Duckett, England’s opener, prepares for a new challenge in the upcoming Test series against India—facing the host’s fast bowlers.

As the spotlight intensifies on the anticipated clash between England’s batters and India’s renowned spin attack in the upcoming five-match Test series, England opener Ben Duckett underscores the formidable challenge posed by the host’s fast bowlers. Duckett emphasizes that irrespective of the pitch conditions, facing India’s seam attack will be no walk in the park for the visitors.

In the previous tour to India in 2021, England clinched victory in the opening game in Chennai but found themselves vulnerable against the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel. The pair collectively took 60 wickets, leading India to a 3-1 series win. For the upcoming series, Ashwin and Patel will be joined by Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav in the spin department.

Despite the absence of Mohammed Shami due to a heel injury in the fast-bowling unit, India boasts the services of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, and Avesh Khan.

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Duckett acknowledges the prevailing narrative around India’s spin prowess but asserts that tackling the seam attack at the top of the order will pose a significant challenge, regardless of the pitch conditions. Having faced what he considers the world’s best seam attack during the summer, Duckett anticipates a tough battle at the start of the innings.

The left-handed batter, who made his Test debut in 2016 and has since become a regular in the England squad, recognizes the evolution in his game. Having embraced an ultra-attacking style since 2022, Duckett is confident in his ability to counter spinners with a variety of sweeps.

Reflecting on his previous experiences in India, Duckett notes that the pitches won’t hold any shock value for him. He expresses maturity and confidence, stating that he knows what to expect on those pitches and is well aware of his strengths. Facing the prospect of bowling maestro Ashwin, who is close to the 500-wicket landmark, Duckett backs himself to play assertively on both spinning and flatter pitches.

In conclusion, Duckett emphasizes his readiness for the challenge, asserting that he won’t hesitate to play his natural game, particularly on spinning tracks. As he gears up for the series, Duckett’s evolved approach and self-assurance signal a player prepared for the rigors of Test cricket in India.

IANS