Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann has echoed his voices against his countrymen at their disgraceful performance in the ongoing pink-ball Test against India in Ahmedabad. England squandered the advantage of winning the toss as they managed only 112 in the first innings, unable to play the Indian spinners. Graeme Swann underlined that one could not blame the pitch as many English batsmen got out playing straight deliveries.
Opening batsman Zak Crawley was the only one to make a commendable score, mustering a fluent fifty, laced with 11 boundaries. Crawley was one of the six victims claimed by Axar Patel, perishing for an 84-ball 53. Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Ollie Pope, and Jofra Archer all played for the turn when there was not much and the line proved their downfall.
Graeme Swann lauded the Indian spinners and Axar Patel, in particular, highlighting that few wickets fell by the ball spinning. Swann stated that with the left-arm spinner dismissing six batsmen, England must think what they could have done differently. The former England cricketer added that keeper-batsman Ben Foakes played it well and the odd one spinning missing the stumps.
“India bowled superbly, Axar bowled very well. Interestingly, when you watch these wickets, very few were caused by the ball spinning. A lot of it is by balls that have gone straight on. Axar got 6 wickets there. England must go to the change room and think about what they could have done differently. Ben Foakes played spin well as he played as if every ball was going to go straight on. The odd one that turned missed the stumps,” Swann told Star Sports.
It’s tough as a batsman but England have to do better: Graeme Swann
The 41-year old went on to say that one cannot blame the pitch and that the tourists were almost sitting ducks, stuck on the crease against the Indian spinners. Swann advised the England batsman to be more proactive and have to improve their gameplay.
“You can’t blame the pitch, it is what it is. England have turned out and they got a turning pitch. They have got to expect it as they have been vulnerable on a turning pitch. Some of the dismissals were like rabbits stuck in the headlights, stuck in the crease. They need to be more proactive. It’s tough as a batsman but England have to do better,” he added.