Ishant Sharma India
Former Indian skipper Kapil Dev pins hopes on Ishant Sharma for England tour.Reuters

Kapil Dev claims he has confidence in the Indian pace attack and insists that even without veteran seamer Zaheer Khan, they can trouble the English team in the forthcoming five-match Test series, starting 9 July in Trent Bridge.

Kapil, who led Team India to their first World Cup win in 1983, said India have quality quick bowlers, such as Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami, who are capable of troubling any opponent.

"I believe in the bowling and am not worried about it," Kapil said. "Bhuvneshwar is a seam bowler and these are ideal conditions and so is the case with Shami too. Ishant is the head of the pack and I still believe that he can come out good. I have a lot of confidence in the other two."

The Indian seamers are under scrutiny after their lacklustre performance in the warm-up fixtures as they failed to confine both Leicestershire and Derbyshire in the tour games.

In the last England tour, India were hammered 4-0 by the Andrew Strauss-led outfit but Kapil believes the visitors can turn the tide this time around. The 55-year-old said it will be tough to beat England at home but it is achievable if they play as a team.

"This team looks much stronger, but it's not going to be easy," the former Indian skipper said. "Let anybody say whatever they want to say. It's going to be tough. If the batsmen survive this time, our bowlers would do much better and I have a little more hope if Ashwin or Jadeja come back (to form) and start bowling well outside India."

The MS Dhoni-led side had lost back-to-back away series against South Africa and New Zealand. But Kapil insists if bowlers can hit the right areas and do not bowl short - like they did against the Black Caps - India have a good chance of ending their recent woeful record away from home.

"In the New Zealand series, we did not get the result and that was disheartening. We need a good seamer or a senior player to show the way. You have to bowl up, make the batsman play straight, not use the cut shot. In England you don't need to seam the ball half a yard, (need) just six or four inches, and you're in trouble (as a batsman).

"In New Zealand they were bowling short and that cost us the results. You can't keep bowling short. The harder/bouncier the pitch, you have to bowl a half yard more up to the batsman."

Rahul Dravid has joined the Indian team as a batting consultant for the England tour but Kapil is sceptical about his appointment, and said it is not the right time for the former Indian captain to join the squad in any capacity.

"There should be a gap of four years after a player retires, before he can take such a role, because after that period, you will be more approachable and relaxed," the former all-rounder told TOI. "Will your former colleagues who played with you till yesterday, be ready to take your advice? Luckily, in this team, he has not played with many cricketers."