Geoffrey Boycott on Friday slammed the England team selection for player 3 fast bowlers on a turning pitch in Ahmedabad which he feels resulted in their 10-wicket loss against India in the Pink-ball Test.
England went into the match with 3 seamers – James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer – and 1 specialist spinner – Jack Leach.
India on the other hand picked 3 spinners – Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Washington Sundar – and 2 fast bowlers – Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah.
The former England captain didn’t mince his words when he said that the visitors “should be embarrassed” with their performance in the third Test which ended inside 2 days at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
“I would also like to know who had the bright idea of playing three fast bowlers on a turning pitch. They should be embarrassed.
“England got sucked into thinking they were playing a pink ball test in Adelaide not Ahmedabad,” Boycott wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph.
Prior to the match, all-rounder Ben Stokes said England’s seamers were “licking their lips” at the prospect of getting the pink ball to swing significantly.
But they were in for a rude shock when the ball started turning on Day 1 itself. 27 out of the 30 wickets that fell in the match were taken by spinners with even part-time offie Joe Root grabbing his maiden Test five-wicket haul at Motera.
Left-arm off-spinner Axar Patel starred with the ball, taking 11 wickets for 70 to set a new record for the best bowling figures in a day-night Test match. Ravichandran Ashwin took 7 while Root (5) and Jack Leach (4) shared 9 wickets between themselves.
So dominant were India’s spinners that they did not turn to their seamers in England’s second innings, while third spinner Washington Sundar sent down only four deliveries for a wicket.
“We thought the wicket would hold together better than it did throughout all the practice days it seamed around, it swung and the seamers looked a threatening option. It’s easy in hindsight to select a different team,” Root said after the defeat.