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Gavaskar urges India to take their chance

Sunil Gavaskar has told India's cricketers that success in England will set them up well for the rest of their international careers.

India begin the Investec Test Series against England at Trent Bridge tomorrow looking to avenge the 4-0 defeat suffered the last time they were on these shores.

This summer they are without the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag when a new look India tackle Alastair Cook's side.

Tendulkar and Dravid are the highest scorers in Tests between the two countries. The man in third, Gavaskar, is hopeful that his country can record victory.

He told ecb.co.uk: “(Last time) I think they lost every game. They lost the T20s, they lost the one-dayers and they lost all the Test matches. That's a memory they will certainly want to erase.

“Having seen that England have not been playing well in recent times I think India will fancy their chances.

"I think they'll have to bowl well, bowl consistently well, because India over the years, since India first played in 1932/33 here, they've always taken the first five wickets for not too many and the last five have thwarted them.

It was a chastening experience for India the last time they were in England. Now a new generation are confident of their chances

“That's been the story of Indian cricket in England for a long, long time and that is something the Indian bowlers will have to do something about.

“The last time in 2011 the Indian team had all the stalwarts, they're not there so it’s an opportunity for the younger players to come in and make a name for themselves and if they can do it in the conditions that are there in England it will certainly help their careers.”

Gavaskar is pleased that the series will be played out over five games, which he believes will allow India enough time to recover from a slow start.

And he is confident that the side will be able to cope with the pressure of an intense contest, having excelled in Twenty20 cricket in recent times.

“The big plus is it's a five-Test series,” added Gavaskar. “In a three-Test series if you do badly in the first one it's very difficult to come back but in a five-Test series any team can come back.

“As the summer progresses, I think the pitches will get that much better as well so I believe that India will certainly have an opportunity to do better than they did the last time that they were here.

“(India) have a lot of experience of pressure situations because of the number of T20 matches that they play. In the T20 matches the pressure is enormous, it's a compressed kind of situation. I think they will react well to pressure.

“But Test cricket requires a completely different mindset and how quickly they adjust is going to be the key.”

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