England’s batsmen may have found turning pitches
England’s batsmen may have found turning pitches unfamiliar Louis Vuitton UK, especially when they were prepared with wire brushes, as in Calcutta on Tony Greig’s tour. But India’s batsmen had no experience of facing fast bowling – whether short-pitched or swing – except if they had previously toured overseas. Thus Bob Willis, John Lever and Ian Botham enjoyed field days in India. The helmet, like worldwide professionalism, did not arrive until the late Seventies; there was no limitation of two bouncers per over. It was back to the Raj and the Good Old Days. Only four of England’s victories in India have therefore come when both sides have been equally matched and fully professional. And in two of them England owed something not just to their own efforts but to rather strange goings-on within the Indian team. In 1984-85, as now, England’s spinners were every bit as good as India’s, in this case Phil Edmonds and Pat Pocock. But the pressure they exerted in Delhi does not entirely account for Kapil Dev having a slog on the last afternoon. There were rumours of tension between Kapil, Louis Vuitton Canada the ex-captain, and Gavaskar, who had replaced him. Kapil was dropped for the next match, and not on playing grounds.