Finally, former England skipper Michael Vaughan, has stopped criticising the pitch and credited the Indian bowlers for making life difficult for the England batsmen. Vaughan had launched several attacks over the quality of wicket on offer during the third Test, where India took 2-1 lead in the series.
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But after Thursday’ show lauded India and said Virat Kohli’s men ‘out skilled and out thought’ England. “India today with the ball showed why they are so good in these conditions … Pitch did very little for 60 overs and they completely out skilled & out thought England … !! High class … England with the Bat were very very average,” tweeted Vaughan.
India today with the ball showed why they are so good in these conditions … Pitch did very little for 60 overs and they completely out skilled & out thought England … !! High class … England with the Bat were very very average … #INDvENG— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 4, 2021
England wasted an opportunity on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test at Motera in Ahmedabad. After winning a crucial toss and electing to bat first, despite playing with an extra batsman, the visitors were bowled out for a below-par 205 in the 76th over. It was a combination of some excellent bowling from the Indians and some poor batting from the England batsmen on a wicket that was good to bat on and was not doing much for the bowlers on the opening day in Ahmedabad.
Axar Patel gave India the early breakthrough when he saw the back of Dom Sibley in the sixth over – the opener left a huge gap between the bat and pad and the ball went through his defense hitting the stumps. Sibley has failed in his last 6 innings in India after the brilliant 87 in the first innings of the series opener in Chennai. The impressive Zak Crawley got a bit over ambitious and danced down the track to Patel in his very next over only to sky one to Mohammed Siraj at mid off.
Mohammed Siraj then got the biggest wicket of the day – of the English captain Joe Root nipping one back in trapping him leg before wicket after feeding him with a number of deliveries that shaped away in the previous over. It was a brilliant set-up by the young fast bowler. He was not done. Siraj ended a blossoming stand between Stokes and Jonny Bairstow with an effort delivery bowled at 10 kms per hour quicker which skidded off the surface, jagged back and trapped Bairstow plumb in front of the wickets. England were now reeling at 78 for 4.
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Ben Stokes was looking good today and has his sights on a big one for England. He was mixing caution with aggression, defending well and taking some calculated risks to keep the scorecard ticking. In Ollie Pope he had found an able partner and the pair was just beginning to look comfortable at the crease when, against the run of play, Washington Sundar, slipped in the arm-ball to get Stokes leg before wicket for 55. England lost their fifth wicket with the score at 121.
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