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India vs England: 'England Looked Like Startled Rabbits' - Former Skipper's Scathing Criticism After Ahmedabad Loss

By: Cricketnext Staff

Last Updated: February 27, 2021, 09:06 IST

India vs England: 'England Looked Like Startled Rabbits' - Former Skipper's Scathing Criticism After Ahmedabad Loss

Nasser Hussain said that the Ahmedabad pitch was tougher than the one in Chennai but criticised England's batsmen for their approach, stating they looked like 'startled rabbits'.

The pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad has come under intense scrutiny since India registered a thumping ten-wicket win over England in the third Test of the four-match series. The spin friendly nature of the track saw India wrap up the match within two days, with even England skipper Joe Root – a part-time off-spinner at best – taking figures of 5-8 in the first innings. As a result there has been plenty of criticism over the state of the pitch from former cricketers, who have argued that a pitch that offers this much assistance to bowlers isn’t conducive to good Test match cricket.

However former England skipper Nasser Hussain, who said that the Ahmedabad pitch was tougher than the one in Chennai, criticised England’s batsmen for their approach, stating they looked like ‘startled rabbits’.

“England looked like startled rabbits in that second innings. I don’t think it was an 81 all out pitch but this was a much tougher pitch than Chennai,” Hussain said on the ‘Sky Sports Cricket Podcast’.

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“Especially on this pitch, where one spins prodigiously and the other skids on, you lose all kind of rhythm. That’s what successive Test matches on these sorts of pitches do for your mindset,” Hussain added.

“You could also argue that it was that pitch before in Chennai when everything spun big but it was also the ball that spun big on Zak Crawley on day one here. Every England batsman thought ‘I have to go for the spin’ but most got done with the one that didn’t spin.”

Hussain also added that getting a result in the final Test will depend on the mentality of the England players, citing Zak Crawley’s half-century in the first innings as the template for them to follow.

“It is all about the mentality of that side now and to be fair to them a lot of the chat about the pitches and umpires has come from outside the dressing room. I have not heard a single England player say these conditions are unfair,” said Hussain.

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“They have to find a way and Zak Crawley’s first-innings fifty was a positive. I know some of it was before spin came on. but it was one of the best half centuries I have seen from a young England player – the rhythm, the fluency.

“If Zak can do it after a couple of games out injured, then Ollie Pope can do it, Jonny Bairstow can do it.”

The final Test takes place at the same venue from March 4 (Thursday).

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