Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 2 (ANI): England batsman Zak Crawley said India spinner Axar Patel is “extremely accurate” and does not allow batsmen to score runs.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar and Ashwin, India had registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium last week to go 2-1 up in the four-match series.
In the match, Crawley was dismissed by Axar in both innings. While Crawley had managed to score a half-century in the first innings, he got out on the very first delivery in the second innings.
“He (Axar) is a very good bowler, especially in these conditions. He is extremely accurate and does not give you much to score,” Crawley said during a virtual press conference.
The third Test saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that did not turn and skidded through from the spinners. But critics have looked to blame the pitch for the failure of the batsmen. However, India batsman Rohit Sharma had clarified that he did not think the pitch had any demons. Even skipper Virat Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams.
Crawley said the wicket for the fourth Test will be “very similar” to that of the third match.
“I think it will be a very similar pitch this week… It was not easy to score for sure but it was the same for both sides and they played really well. We did not play as well as we needed to,” he said.
With that defeat, England got out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship. England, who are 2-1 down in the four-match series, needed to win the four-match series 3-1 to play the final against New Zealand.
If India manage to win or draw the final Test against England, then the side will qualify for the final of the WTC and they will take on New Zealand in the summit clash.
Although England is out of contention for the WTC final, Crawley stressed that it won’t change their mindset as to how they go about the match.
“It does not change anything for us. It is a massive game. Obviously, it is a big game for them as well. They want to be in the Test Championship final. There is a lot to play for. Whether it is a Test championship or not, you want to win every Test match you play,” Crawley said.
The fourth Test will begin on Thursday. (ANI)