Dubai: Thirty wickets lost in 150 overs in less than two days! Was it because of a poor pitch or a failure to learn from the mistakes of your first innings?
England who were bowled out for 112 runs in their first innings after came back on day two to bowl India out for just 145, restricting the lead to just 33 runs.
Yes, the pitch was difficult, but not if you applied yourself as shown by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli on the first day.
Sunil Gavaskar summed up very well when he said that on a seaming wicket, you either bat on the front foot or on the back foot, but the skills of a player on a turning pitch can be seen only if he uses his feet and goes down the wicket and smothers the spin.
That is what every single batsman in the English side failed to do even in the second innings. The result? They fell for just 81 runs, their lowest score against India.
Yes there will be a debate if a five day Test match gets over in less than two days. However, a player’s calibre and skill is proven only when he shows his supremacy on all kinds of pitches - irrespective of the fact that it helps seam, swing or a spin bowling.
England have only themselves to blame as they did not read the pitch well and picked just one main line spinner in Jack Leach. Whereas India picked three spinners.
Secondly, England’s policy of giving the players rest and rotation has cost them big time. They send back Moeen Ali, who had a decent Test match with the ball. He would have been a handful on this wicket. He is more than a handy batsman who could have added depth to their batting.
And then, the strange case of Johnny Bairstow. Bairstow who did so well in Sri Lanka was sent home to rest before he came back for the third Test. Why would anyone want to break the rhythm of a player who is in fine touch and played spin so well on rank turners in Sri Lanka?
Test matches are won with skill and temperament. England let India off the hook after winning a vital toss and not because of the pitch was a rank turner. They have only themselves to blame.