“You can’t blame the pitch”- Graeme Swann hits out at English batsmen

Former England spinner Graeme Swann said the visitors could not blame the pitch for their dismal show in the first innings of the third Test match against India. England were bowled out cheaply for 112 with Axar Patel wreaking havoc and getting six scalps.

Graeme Swann pointed out that the English batsman were stuck in their crease and questioned their approach with them not being proactive enough. Speaking on Star Sports, the former off-spinner said:

“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.”

Swann praised Axar Patel and said England lost most of their wickets to deliveries which were not turning.

“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 six wickets there. England must go to the change room and think about what they could have done differently.” Swann added.

Only Zak Crawley looked comfortable in the middle for England, scoring a fluent 53, which was laced with some glorious boundaries. However, he was undone by Axar Patel and got out LBW.

Sunil Gavaskar, meanwhile, opined that England were mentally on the backfoot even before they took the field today after their heavy defeat in Chennai. The Indian legend said the visitors were looking to just survive, and it was only going to be a matter of time before they were dismissed.

“England came in after the big loss in Chennai with their mindset completely gone. Their mindset is ‘can we survive?’ and they are not looking to score runs. And on such a surface, you are not going to be able to survive where the odd balls are turning, and the odd balls are going straight through.” Gavaskar said.

112 is also the lowest Test score recorded by England in the first innings in India. With India already at 99-3, the visitors’ chances of getting a positive result from this game already look bleak.

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