England captain Joe Root thought the pink ball and the surface at Ahmedabad would assist seam bowlers. This led to the team management going into the Test with only one specialist spinner in Jack Leach.
India eventually beat England by 10 wickets in the third Test, which saw 28 of the 30 wickets falling to spinners.
Historically, the pink ball, coupled with the twilight period, has favoured seam bowlers. England went into the Test with their top three pacers – James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer. But the trio bowled just 24 overs between them, accounting for one wicket.
“We tried to pick our best side in order to utilise the pink ball. We thought the wicket would hold a lot better than it did. Seam bowling looked like a real threatening option. Our seamers are our great strength, and we wanted to give them the challenge to explore these conditions,” said Joe Root at the post-match press conference.
Joe Root stated that picking Dom Bess could have been the correct call, but it’s easier to analyze the same in hindsight.
Dom Bess, an off-spinning all-rounder, has had a successful tour of the subcontinent so far. He has picked up 17 wickets from three Tests, against Sri Lanka and India, at 22.41.
He has also been useful with the bat, getting three 25+ scores in four innings. He was one of England’s stars in their win in the first Chennai Test, where his first-innings four-for included the prized scalp of Virat Kohli.
Surprisingly, the 23-year-old lost his place in the side to Moeen Ali for the second Test and sat out the third Test too.
“In hindsight, it’s easier to look at things like that. We could have picked him (Dom Bess). Unfortunately, the seamers didn’t have a big impact as we anticipated. It’s frustrating that it turned out the way it did,” added Joe Root, a part-time off-spinner who went on to pick his maiden First-Class five-for in the Test.
England will look to field their best side in the final Test that starts on March 4. A win will see them become the first side in eight years to draw a series in India.