David Lloyd feels having inexperienced umpires officiate the first two India vs England Tests could pose a problem.
The former England cricketer and now commentator lamented the fact that ICC couldn’t get the best umpires in the world to officiate the India vs England series.
Nitin Menon, Anil Chaudhary and Virender Sharma will be the three umpires to officiate the first two Tests in Chennai.
Out of the three, only Nitin Menon is part of ICC’s Elite Panel of umpires. The other two will make their Test debuts against England.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, only home umpires have been officiating in Test matches.
Writing for the Daily Mail, David Lloyd claimed that having just one member from ICC’s Elite Panel for such a crucial series isn’t ideal.
“Their only member of the elite panel now is Nitin Menon and he’s only stood in a handful of Tests. In normal times the ICC would have had the very best in the world for this series. I know we can’t do that now, but it could become an issue”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) January 31, 2021
The relative inexperience of the three umpires has been brought up several times over the past few days.
Nitin Menon will make just his fourth Test appearance. Anil Chaudhary, on the other hand, has overseen just 20 ODIs and 28 T20Is, while Virender Sharma has officiated two ODIs and just one T20I.
Conceding the lack of collective experience is worrisome, David Lloyd was unsure whether the umpires could handle the pressure of officiating a home Test.
“Having been on the ICC elite umpires selection panel, I know the India players, coaching staff, media and not least the public put enormous pressure on their umpires.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 2, 2021
Irrespective of the quality of umpiring, David Lloyd believes India will easily beat England at home.
Referring to their win in Australia, David Lloyd praised the side’s balance as a mark of their strength.
“India are the best in the world as they showed in beating Australia almost without the captain. They’ve got a balanced team and wonderful batsmen. I think India will win hands down, maybe 3-0 or 4-0, but I’d love to be proved wrong.”