Excited about his county team’s practice match against a star-studded Indian cricket team, Leicestershire’s Irish import Niall O’Brien says Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men can destroy, dazzle and intrigue their rivals all at the same time.
The 18-member Indian squad, which landed in England on Sunday, created considerable excitement in the Leicester corridors with the county side hosting a three-day game against the visitors.
“India are a wonderful bunch of cricketers who can destroy you one minute, intrigue you another and just dazzle you with their unreal skill and talent the next,” O’Brien wrote in his column in the ‘Leicester Mercury’.
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“India will be led by the inspirational Dhoni who is another top man and a superb captain who has transformed the India side over recent years with his tactical nous and aggressive approach, both in the field and with the bat.
“Another (player) who will create great interest is Virat Kohli, the new kid on the block. This man is a genius with the willow in his hand and is already is making serious runs that will surely one day put him near the top of the Indian run-getters list,” he wrote.
Leicester may be placed at the bottom of the County Championship Division II table but wicketkeeper-batsman O’Brien is hoping that playing India will benefit the Josh Cobb-led side.
“It is always a great experience, especially for the younger lads, to play against MS Dhoni and Co… For the (Leicester) Foxes, it will be a great test for our batsmen and bowlers to show what they can do against a Test side,” wrote the 32-year-old left-hand batsman.
The visitors will play another three-day practice game against Derbyshire before the commencement of the first of the five Tests on July 9 at Nottingham.
India are looking to avenge their 0-4 thrashing at the hands of the Three Lions in 2011 before they take on the hosts in five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 in a two-and-a-half month long tour.