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IND vs ENG 3rd Test, Day 1: Did England read the pitch wrong?

10:56 PM Feb 24, 2021 | Shubham Bhargav

What a day for India, immense satisfaction for the hosts and utter frustration for the visitors, this pretty much sums up the Day 1 proceedings of the 3rd Test at Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera.

The Pitch

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Right from the first over, the pink ball was playing a few tricks on the dry grass-less pitch. Ishant got the breakthrough for India early on in the game dismissing Dom Sibley. After that, the spinners got involved and made the Englishmen dance to their tunes.

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The pitch was offering turn and bounce and the Axar-Ashwin duo made the most of it. Apart from Zak Crawley, not a single batsman was able to handle the Indian bowlers. Axar returned with the figures of 6/38 while Ashwin got 3/26.

Ordinary batting display

It seemed as if there were more demons in the heads of the English batsmen than there were in the pitch. Most of the Englishmen were caught in their crease on several occasions. They did not use their feet to counter the spin and missed the straight ones while trying to play for the spin.

7 out of the 10 batsmen were sent back in this fashion. England clearly missed the chance of getting a big total on the board after winning the toss which could have put them in a commanding position.

The Selection Error

Jack Leach

India played 3 spinners, only two were enough to bundle England out inside 49 overs. Whereas England came to the party with 3 fast bowlers and just the solitary spinner. Dom Bess would have been very effective on this track. Now looking at what the Indian spinners did on this track it is likely that Jack Leach would have to turn his arm over a tad more than expected.

The Missed Chances

After losing all their wickets for just 112, England bowlers were expected to deliver under the lights. The ball did swing early on. James Anderson and Stuart Broad created a few chances but the England fielders let them down, dropping some simple chances that were regulation catches.

Ollie Pope dropped two chances in a matter of two overs. England did get a little respite in the end when Virat Kohli's furniture was disturbed by Leach. India ended the day at 99/3. With Rohit well set, India would be aiming at a big 1st innings lead.

Rohit Sharma is unbeaten on Day 1
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