BUMBLE ON THE TEST: England’s defensive team selection told India they were content with a draw and Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley played like novices… but at least a proper pitch has been prepared this time!
- By playing seven batsmen, it told India that England were happy to get a draw
- England’s batsmen have been slow to learn against spin, their angles are wrong
- It’s good to see at least a proper pitch has been prepared for this final Test match
- I’m hearing the groundsman who prepared the pitch for the first Test was sacked
England once again collapsed against India’s spinners as the hosts took control on day one of the fourth and final Test match in Ahmedabad.
Joe Root’s men were bundled out for 205 despite a valiant half-century from Ben Stokes, before Virat Kohli’s men ended the day on 24-1, with James Anderson dismissing Shubman Gill.
Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD offers his views on where England have already gone wrong as the visitors find themselves behind the eight ball once more in these conditions.
India took control of the fourth and final Test match against Joe Root’s England in Ahmedabad
England’s selection smacked of defensiveness. Playing seven batsmen and only three frontline bowlers told India they were happy to get a draw.
You need to take 20 wickets to win a Test and England need victory to square the series.
I’d have gone with Mark Wood on a well-prepared pitch. I don’t think they needed Dom Bess.
After the way Joe Root bowled in the last Test, I don’t think they needed Dom Bess (above)
When will they learn?
England’s batsmen have been slow to learn against spin.
The angles are all wrong with their bats, heads and bodies. Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley played like novices.
Ollie Pope got down the pitch but his bottom hand was coming through and he was hitting it to mid-on, rather than between the bowler and mid-off.
The two England openers, Dom Sibley (above) and Zak Crawley, played like novices
Pitch looks a belter
There’s been so much debate about pitches in India.
All I’ll say is that pitches in England are prepared with a high regard for revenue. You want a Test to last at least four days.
If you get a surface that’s wilfully underprepared, broadcasters may reasonably ask for their money back. It’s good to see a proper pitch for this game.
Are you sure, Virat?
Talking of pitches, I see Virat Kohli said he doesn’t comment on the conditions.
And it’s true, he doesn’t… unless you count his remarks about the pitch for the first Test, which he said was too slow, or the ball, which he said was poor quality, or that time he said the boundaries were too short during a World Cup game against England.
Apart from that…
It’s good to see that at least a proper pitch has been prepared for this final Test match
I’m a big fan of workers’ rights — George Orwell, Wigan Pier, and all that.
And I’m hearing that the groundsman who prepared that excellent pitch for the first Test was sacked for doing his job.
The pitch had everything: runs for batsmen, a bit for the seamers, then the spinners came into it. So what happens? The poor guy gets kicked out.
Virat Kohli said the boundaries were too short during a World Cup game against England
Bunbury’s big day!
David English turned 75 on Thursday. He’s the King of the Bunburys, the Bunfather, Don Bunburyoni.
Now then, Dave, the lads you brought through the game aren’t playing well! But if I know you, you wouldn’t take them down the nets.
You’d take them for a knees-up in the Old Bull and Bush.
What a poor delivery
For those who have been wondering, my chitting is coming along nicely and I’ve been spending hours in the greenhouse during lockdown.
We had a drama with the peonies — they were delivered to the wrong house.
Everyone knows peonies need well-rotted manure. But enough about this column…
I’m hearing the groundsman who prepared that excellent pitch for the first Test was sacked
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