Giles: India tour crucial to Ashes
Ashley Giles believes it is crucial for England to perform well in India over the coming weeks in order to build positive momentum ahead of next year’s npower Ashes series.
England lost the Stanford 20/20 for 20 in Antigua at the start of the month but will now look to pick themselves for challenging one-day and Test series in India.
They defeated the Mumbai Cricket Association by 122 runs yesterday in the first warm-up game prior to the start of the seven-match one-day international series in Rajkot on Friday.
Their task will not be easy with India formidable on home soil, a fact England know all too well having suffered a 5-1 ODI series defeat in 2006.
However, the tourists enjoyed success in the subcontinent last year with a victory in Sri Lanka and Giles believes a solid performance in India will be crucial to build momentum for next year.
“We need to get 20 wickets and we need to have the runs on the board,” the 35-year-old said.
“It is as simple as that.
“There is no doubt it will be a hard tour. India is always a tough team whether you play one-day cricket or Test cricket.
“It is a challenge for the team, we have a massive year ahead of us and we want to get some momentum going.
“It is a good England side we have taken out there and I think the guys are looking forward to it.”
Giles was speaking in Hong Kong where he was team manager of an England side which captured a fifth Hong Kong Cricket Sixes title yesterday.
With impressive performances from skipper Dimitri Mascarenhas and Essex all-rounder Graham Napier, Giles - who is an England selector as well as Warwickshire’s director of cricket - believes the Sixes tournament was a good chance to look at players on the fringes of the national team.
“It is an opportunity for me to see them close up,” he added.
“As a selector I get to see the guys on tour if you like and see them playing and training.
“It is obviously a short trip, we arrived on Thursday and go on Monday so while there is not a great deal to see there are certainly opportunities for a few of these boys.”