Former captains Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook left ruing England’s ‘vulnerability to spin’

17 wickets fell on day two as India sealed a chaotic win in Ahmedabad

Ben Burrows@benburrows_
Thursday 25 February 2021 14:54
Jonny Bairstow of England is bowled by Axar Patel of India
Jonny Bairstow of England is bowled by Axar Patel of India

Former captains Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook were left ruing England’s “vulnerability to spin” after they were blown away inside two days in Ahmedabad.

India lost seven for 46 in their first innings to bring the Test to life on the second day, but England were skittled for 81 to hand the initiative back to their hosts, who chased down 49 with ease to complete a 10-wicket win.

The result moves Virat Kohli’s side 2-1 ahead in the four-match series.

The pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium came in for plenty of criticism with 17 wickets falling in just over two sessions on day two, but Strauss conceded England’s shortcomings against spin had again been their real undoing.

“I’m feeling pretty flat now because there was so much adrenaline throughout the day and then that final session, you are hoping England might cause a little bit of alarm at least for India but obviously they played it the right way,” he said on Channel 4.

“The truth is, over the last five innings England have shown their vulnerability to spin. That’s the big issue, that’s the big difference between the sides.

“In this Test match, as in the last, the pitch really played to India’s strengths.”

Cook admitted England’s struggles with the bat had made for uncomfortable viewing.

“It was an amazing Test match - all action, mayhem. It doesn’t look great when India win by 10 wickets because it was a lot closer than that actually,” he added.

“India deserved the win. Obviously they are better in those conditions, but it was a tough Test match to watch. The pitch had such a big influence on that.”

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