India captain Virat Kohli is waiting to see how much “scarring” lingers among England’s batsmen following their recent travails against his side.
Kohli celebrated a 3-1 series win on home turf as Joe Root’s tourists failed to get to grips with turning surfaces and the deadly spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.
England were bowled out for less than 200 six times in eight innings, with a low of 81 all out in the day/night Test in Ahmedabad.
Conditions in the forthcoming five-match series, which begins at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, are set to be vastly different, with seamers coming back to the fore, but the possibility of a psychological advantage remains.
Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope are all expected to take up positions in the top five in Nottingham, but each of the quartet averaged under 20 in India.
“Well, that all depends on the batsman who are walking out, how much scarring they carry with them when they walk out to bat,” said Kohli.
“That’s basically how I see it. I can vouch for the fact that we definitely have the ability to bowl them out on a consistent basis.
“That’s the kind of quality that we possess and as long as we execute our skills and our plans, then we are very confident of doing that very often in the series.
“If the scars are being carried or not, I’m not in a position to answer that. It honestly depends on the individual walking into that.”
India have lost on each of their last three trips to England, defeated 11 times and winning just twice along the way, but are quietly confident about their prospects this time.
Not only are they buoyed by their memorable success away in Australia just a matter of months ago, they have also been on these shores for a long period, having initially arrived in May to contest the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
They have recently played internal matches as well as a warm-up against a County Select XI and Kohli is pleased with how preparations have gone.
“We’re definitely much better prepared than we have been in the past,” he said.
“The situation allowed us to acclimatise…we have been playing under different changes in conditions in terms of weather, whether it’s overcast or it’s sunny, how the pitches behave, how the ball travels, how much it’s swings in the air, all those kinds of things are definitely going to add to our experience.
“But look, you can have all the experience in the world. As I said all boils down to execution in crunch moments. And that purely comes from belief and how badly you want to be in situations which are not easy.
“As long as we listen to embrace that, we will find answers to all the questions thrown at us.”
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RORY DOLLARD – PA / Picture: Alamy