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Updated January 18th, 2024 at 19:09 IST

'Turn Indian people against their own team': Finn reveals England's old strategy to defeat India

For England to replicate their 2012 victory in India, their IPL superstars need to gain admirers by delivering entertaining performances, feels former pacer Steven Finn. India have won 16 home series since their 1-2 reversal against England 13 years back, a series which Finn was part of.

Indian cricket team supporters during the World Cup
Indian cricket team supporters during the World Cup | Image:AP
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For England to replicate their 2012 victory in India, their IPL superstars need to gain admirers by delivering entertaining performances, feels former pacer-turned-commentator Steven Finn.

India have won 16 home series since their 1-2 reversal against England 13 years back, a series which Finn was part of.

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"I think the IPL superstardom of some of the players will count to England's benefit," Finn told ESPNCricinfo.

"Kevin Pietersen aside, that 2012 team, people weren't really superstars in India, whereas you have quite a few guys this time going over who have played in the IPL and are superstars in that. I think that will count." England have some IPL household names in the touring party with the likes of Ben Stokes, Mark Wood, Jonny Bairstow and Harry Brook part of the side.

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England will embark on their five-match series against India with the Hyderabad Test from January 25.

"The three most memorable tours I went on, India 2012, Australia 2010-11 and South Africa 2016, all three of them, one of the motivations for us was to try and get the opposition public on side and turn them against their own team.

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"That's a huge benefit to you, and having Stokes and McCullum at the helm gives England an opportunity to do that.

"If they play well and give a good account of themselves, as the series goes on that tide can turn, because we know how polarising the Indian cricket team can be to their public depending on how they are playing." 

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Superhuman Jimmy 

Finn further said veteran James Anderson will be a "vital cog" despite a difficult Ashes last year. On his sixth tour to India, the 41-year-old Anderson has taken an impressive 34 wickets at 29.32, with 12 of them coming on that 2012 tour.

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"Jimmy is superhuman. People have been anticipating he will retire for about seven years now and he keeps surprising people and performing," Finn said.

"He didn't have a fantastic summer last year, but I know from knowing him as a character that he wouldn't be doing this unless he felt he could make a difference.

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"I think a determined Jimmy Anderson well-managed is someone who will be important to England, especially making the most of the reverse swing because he is an absolute master at that.

"He would have worked on his fitness, he would have trained hard, he has got the skills and has got the experience so I anticipate when he plays, he'll be an important cog." 

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'Measured aggression' 

Finn further urged the touring party to show measured aggression taking a cue of Alstair Cook and Kevin Pietersen's centuries in their 10-wicket win in the 2012 Mumbai Test.

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"Cook ground them down and then Pietersen came out and played this knock and everyone was like, 'oh my word, we're going to win this series'. That was the moment we all realised.

"England can take some of the motivation from the way that affected the way India played and try to take that into this series, but it has to be a measured aggression.

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"If you go 100 percent aggression from the beginning, I think you can become unstuck. But if you've given yourself a chance and then assert pressure back on India, that could serve England well," he added. 

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Published January 18th, 2024 at 19:09 IST

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