Ian Botham believes England’s end of year tour programme will be judged on their upcoming five-Test tour of India, rather than a stunning loss to Bangladesh.
England, 100 without loss at tea on Sunday’s third day in Dhaka, collapsed to 164 all out on a spin-friendly pitch to lose by 108 runs - their first Test match defeat by Bangladesh.
The result saw Bangladesh share the two-match series 1-1 and raised fresh concerns over how England would cope in similar conditions in India, whose attack will feature off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin -Test cricket’s number one-ranked bowler.
“It (a rapid collapse) can happen in that part of the world,” England great Botham told AFP in an interview in London on Sunday.
“The wickets are tailored, they are designed to spin. When you see spinners opening in Tests with the new ball, you get an idea of what’s coming.
“It’s good for them (Bangladesh). But what they’ve got to do is to start winning outside of their own country. That’s the acid test and that’s what England have got to do now.
“At the end of the day, they’ll be judged not so much on what happens in Bangladesh, but they will be judged more on what happens in India.”
While questions remain about England’s spinners, and their ability to play spin, Botham said all was far from lost for Alastair Cook’s side as they headed to India.
“England have got the bowlers who can take the pitch out of the equation with reverse swing,” the former pace bowling all-rounder added. “If they go out there and they perform they can win.”
Stuart Broad, controversially rested in Dhaka, is set to lead England’s pace attack and make his 100th Test appearance when the India series opener in Rajkot starts on November 9.
“I presented him with his cap when he first played in Colombo,” said Botham. “There was stuff about Stuart Broad ‘the enforcer’. He got a bit caught up in that.