India v England: Zafar Ansari – tourists winning would not be a surprise

Zafar Ansari

England should not see themselves as underdogs for their tour of India after drawing the opening Test, says all-rounder Zafar Ansari.

The hosts were expected to dominate the five-Test series but England were on top for much of the opener.

“India were billed as favourites. Just to seemingly quash that, at least for a bit, is positive,” said Ansari before Thursday’s start of the second Test.

“We believe we can win and it wouldn’t be a massive surprise.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said the tourists would be beaten 5-0 if they did not improve on their batting performance in the drawn series with Bangladesh.

No batsman scored a century and England failed to amass 300 runs in any of their four innings as Bangladesh won a first Test against the visitors.

In the first Test against India, four different batsman scored tons as England set their hosts a challenging run-chase and then came close to taking the 10 wickets they needed for victory.

The second Test takes place at Visakhapatnam.

Mushtaq stay extended

Meanwhile, England’s new specialist consultant Saqlain Mushtaq is to stay on until the end of the third Test.

“He has just reaffirmed the basics really,” added 24-year-old Ansari of the former Pakistani off-spinner. “He hasn’t brought anything particularly new.

“But I think the way in which he talks about spin bowling is very useful for a young spinner because he keeps it simple,

“He allows you to focus on very small parts of your action and also instils a lot of confidence in you as a bowler and I think that combination works really well.

“It’s about the way he approached spin bowling, which was to take out all the external factors and just concentrate each time on your skill.

“He brings a spiritual dimension to it which is something that I have never really thought about in relation to bowling.”

BBC Sport – Cricket

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