Such buoyed by Dubai link-up
Peter Such believes England’s up-and-coming spinners will have benefited hugely from their recent time with the Test squad in Dubai.
England Performance Programme squad members Scott Borthwick, Simon Kerrigan and Azeem Rafiq - together with newly-appointed Kent captain James Tredwell - were all given the opportunity to bowl at the senior side prior to their tour of India.
The EPP have since flown out to India themselves, giving Such’s young charges the opportunity to further enhance their skills on the sub-continent.
Reflecting on their time with the Test party, England’s Lead Spin Bowling Coach told ecb.co.uk: “That was a fantastic experience all round. I think everybody benefited from it.
“From an England perspective, they got quality practice against quality spin bowlers.
“From the young spin bowlers’ perspective, it gave them an opportunity to benchmark themselves against the likes of Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, and find out where they are with their game.
“It was a great experience for them to bowl against Test match batters who were preparing for a Test series. Also, it gave them an opportunity to showcase what they can do in front of Andy Flower and the England management team, to say ‘hey, if you need someone, come and pick me because I’m the next in line’.”
Such was delighted with the way Borthwick and Co were treated by the Test squad.
“They treated them as equals and they were very forthcoming with information,” he added. “Swanny and Monty spoke at length with the young bowlers, offering information to them, and the England management team brought them into the group and really looked after them as part of the team.”
Borthwick was similarly enthusiastic when it came to assessing his brief stint in Dubai.
“I was just looking to get over there and bowl as much as I could and that’s exactly what I did,” he explained.
“It was good for me, but it was also good for the England players as well, because they wanted to face as much spin as they could.
“Me, Kerrigan, Azeem and Tredwell just bowled at them for three days. I got back and was a little bit stiff!”
Borthwick, Kerrigan and Rafiq have been joined by Hampshire’s Danny Briggs in the EPP set-up and can expect to learn much on Indian soil.
"Obviously the pitches help spin bowlers over there; it does spin a bit, but the thing is when you play against Indian batsmen they play spin well,” Borthwick reasoned.
“They play some ridiculous shots. They play with the spin, they smack you over cover for six and you think ‘how the hell have they done that? That was a good ball’
“It’s a good challenge for us spinners going across and it’s a good chance for the batters to play against the turning ball and prove that they can play against spin as well.”