Head coach of the England cricket team, Chris Silverwood lauded the efforts of spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel as they helped India storm back to win the last three Tests after losing the opening match.
Axar Patel, who came in as a replacement for the injured Ravindra Jadeja, had a debut series that was nothing short of any dream. After missing the first Test due to an injury, the left-arm spinner picked 27 wickets in 3 Tests with 4 five-wicket hauls – including registering best bowling figures in a day-night Test – at a scarcely believable average of 10.59.
India’s premier spinner, R Ashwin bagged his 8th Man of the Series award. The off-spinner snared 32 scalps at 14.72 with 3 five-fors and a hundred at his home, Chennai. With the 3-1 series triumph, Virat Kohli’s side qualified for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand to be played in June in England.
“They (Ashwin and Axar) made life very hard for us… India outplayed us, and they deserve a lot of credit. They came back hard after the first Test,” Chris Silverwood said during a virtual press conference.
They outplayed us in their conditions: Chris Silverwood
With the talks around the pitches being used in the last three Tests – mostly by Englishmen and the Aussies – however, Chris Silverwood reckons that they were completely outplayed by the hosts. However, the 46-year-old former pacer takes plenty of positives from the series; they won a Test match and stood a decent chance to win the last Test as well – something which nobody would have remotely expected them to do.
England will also host India for a 5-match Test series later this year after hosting New Zealand for 2 Tests ahead of the WTC final.
“They outplayed us in their conditions. I’m going to give a lot of credit to the Indians. They came back hard after that first Test. We expected them to, but they came back very hard.
“It’s going to hurt for a while. And obviously, probably reflecting some talking going on between the players and the various coaches, but hopefully, we’ll pull the positives out of it and learn from it, and that will make them stronger moving forward,” Chris Silverwood added.