India's real test will be against England, Australia, says legend Engineer

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Indias real test will be against England, Australia, says legend Engineer
Farokh Engineer was on a stopover in Dubai en route to India.

Dubai - The former wicketkeeper-batsman says not to get carried away by the results in Sri Lanka

By James Jose

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Published: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 9:45 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 11:57 PM

Indian cricket legend Farokh Engineer has said it would be a folly to get carried away by the results in Sri Lanka and added that the true quality of the Indian Test team would be judged on their visits to England and Australia.
An utterly dominant Indian team completed a whitewash of their sub-continental neighbours in the three-match Test series.
Virat Kohli and his men began by beating Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the first Test in Galle before romping to innings wins in Colombo and Pallekele.
The No.1 Test team has been on a roll, so to speak, but former India wicketkeeper-batsman Engineer said that tours of England and Australia will be the real test for Kohli and his men.
"Don't get carried away by the results in Sri Lanka because it looked like we played against little schoolboys there. They (Sri Lanka) didn't have a clue," Engineer said in an exclusive interview with the Khaleej Times on Monday.
The 79-year-old, who resides in England, was on a stopover in Dubai to visit his youngest daughter Scarlett, en route to India.
"The real test will be the England tour because England have always been a nemesis for Indian cricketers. In England, the ball swings in the air, off the pitch and they have bowlers who can do that like Jimmy Anderson, Broad and the others. And that's where our true test will come. Unfortunately, we didn't perform too well that last time we were there," said Engineer, who played 46 Tests between 1961 and 1975.
"English bowlers in English conditions will be the real test. England are playing reasonably well. Australia are always a challenge. So, England and Australia are the two biggest challenges and they will have to overcome that," he added. And Engineer believes that stints in English County cricket will help them prepare for those tests.
Engineer, who was born in the Indian city of Bombay (now Mumbai), was one of the first Indians to play County cricket when he turned out for Lancashire.
"Most definitely," he said.
"(Cheteshwar) Pujara, for example, has just had a few days or a month or two off and then he's off to England to play county cricket. He knows that the experience will be invaluable to him. Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman all played County cricket and served our country better, without a doubt.
"So, I would encourage more Indian players to play County cricket," Engineer said.
Engineer also felt that the Anil Kumble-Virat Kohli episode was unfortunate and said Ravi Shastri shouldn't have been replaced in the first place.
"(Anil) Kumble is a very nice man. He is a great bowler and has been a great servant for Indian cricket but his style has been a bit different which may not have agreed to Virat's style. Whereas, Ravi is more aggressive.
"It is just unfortunate that it didn't click or something happened and it culminated with the Champions Trophy loss, and a defeat to none other than Pakistan. That was the last straw that broke the camel's back, so to say. Kumble did a very good job but his era has ended.
"In fact, Ravi Shastri did such a good job earlier that they didn't need to replace him. But they replaced him. These are the politics of Indian cricket which you and I can't stop.
"There are people far behind the scenes and far sinister moves that go on. But I'm glad that Ravi is back in the fold and he's doing an excellent job. He and Virat make a wonderful partnership. So, good luck to India," he said.
Engineer, a dashing and hard-hitting batsman during his heyday, also believed that former India captain Rahul Dravid would eventually become the Indian coach, in the future.
"Everything has a time and place and I have no doubt that Dravid, in due course, will become the Indian coach because his technique is certainly superb for Test cricket. Test cricket is the pinnacle of cricket. Test cricket is the real test for a cricketer, that's why it is rightly called Test cricket," said Engineer.
Dravid, who has been spoken about as India coach material, is currently the head coach of the India 'A' and India Under-19 teams. 

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