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Spinners have to do well if England want to win: Pocock

Written by: Staff

London, Mar 1 (UNI) If England want to win against India in the current series, spinners have to perform well, says former off-spinner Pat Pocock who was a member of the English team, which beat India in the memorable 1985 tour.

''An out-and-out spinner, well we didn't have it in Pakistan and it showed and I hope we're going to pull a rabbit out of the hat in India. The spinners are going to play a very important role,'' Pocock told BBC Sport.

Talking about the lack of experience of the spinners in the current England squad, he said, ''When you have two spinners who are quite experienced you can play with a much bigger game plan, if you're bowling them from both ends.'' Pocock lamented at the absence of Ashley Giles. ''Giles has done a great job, he's performed a certain role not only with the ball but with the bat, and was an important part of winning the Ashes.'' The off-spinner also said England have to dig in and scored runs to put up a fight. He said England made a big mistake in Pakistan by being extremely positive and whack the ball around for an extended period.

''It doesn't mean to say this approach needs to be taken in every match. Sometimes you have to dig in. You can't score runs back in the dressing-room no matter what your attitude,'' he said.

Pocock believes the visitors could emulate the class of 1985 and win in India from the position of underdogs.

In a five-match series, England lost the opening game heavily, but Pocock and Phil Edmonds, who shared 27 wickets between them in the series, spun India to defeat in the second.

Then, after a rain-affected third Test, England gained a decisive victory in the fourth, thanks to double centuries from Graeme Fowler and Mike Gatting and paceman Neil Foster claiming 11 Indian wickets.

''We're going to have to work very hard and have things go our way as we lost a lot against Pakistan and have to make up a lot of ground,'' he said.

Pocock also believes England need to recreate the team spirit which buoyed the 1985 tourists during their marathon three-month trip, no easy task with three senior players having had to return home before the first Test in the current series.

''We had the most wonderful feeling in the side, instilled by David Gower and a few others,'' he recalls.


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