India has made a resounding comeback over England for the Anthony de Mello Trophy in the ongoing four-Test series. The host dismissed the visitor within just two days of the third day-night Test in Ahemdabad. However, what has been the story behind it?
Team India seems to be on a dangerous roll, as it obliterated England within Day 2 of the third day-night Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday. It happened to be India's quickest win in the format, besides being the fastest in D/N Test.
Nonetheless, regardless of the result, there are talking points aplenty. Starting with the ball to the track, the players' performance, too, has played a factor, as we analyse it all and present the story behind the game and Team India's success.
The pink-ball effect
Starting with the apparent reason, it is the pink ball that keeps troubling the batsmen. While it is known to swing more than the traditional red ball, the prime reason for that happens to be its shine. As for the glow, a large amount of lacquer is used for the ball to maintain its brightness for a more extended period, unlike the red ball, where just the polish helps it retain the same. The longer the shine, the more the swing, while it also somewhat helps in the turn.
Lack of enough practice hurting both sides
Although England was at the receiving end, the Indians, too, did not manage to score big with the bat. One of the prime reasons for this has to be the lack of practice. The sides need to be more regular at playing pink-ball Tests, and also domestically (First-Class). Just a game per year would hardly make a difference and the D/N Tests would continue to remain an unknown territory for the players. Every Test series should have at least a pink-ball Test, while one of the series should have more than just one.
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Another glaring reason has to be the rank-turning tracks of India. While Chennai too produced a dry one after the first Test, it was good enough to last until Day 4. As for Ahmedabad, it was a similar one to Chennai. Furthermore, the pink ball being an unknown empire for the players made it even difficult. Obviously, the International Cricket Council should look into the matter. It could be about time that it takes the pitch curation entirely onto its own hands, as a two-day Test is definitely not a good sign for the format as a whole.
Was the pitch really a rank-turner?
Now, here is a twist that I would like to present. With the spinners making the most of the impact, there was a dissimilarity between the two sides' spinners. Upon careful observation, it is evident that the English spinners spun the ball away more prominently than the Indians. The English batsmen succumbed to the Indians because of the unpredictability of whether the ball would turn or come straight. Both Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin primarily relied on arm deliveries or wrist spins rather than finger spins. Consequently, most Englishmen fell to straighter deliveries as they look to play it for or against the spin.
India's determination to seize the opportunity
Lastly, credit must be given to the Indians for coming out with proper plans against the English. As the team eyes the final spot in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship, India was presented with the opportunity. It nourished the unpredictability surrounding the D/N Test, especially against England, and utilised it to its utmost advantage. I am reasonably certain that the same intensity would be possessed come the next Test at the same venue.
Ahmedabad crowd lifted the Indian spirit and confidence
Barring the pitch, it was a historic occasion for India, as the world's largest cricket venue was hosting its first international Test in nine years. While India was determined to make it count with a limited capacity crowd of 55,000, it was still strong enough to lift the host's spirit. Naturally, thanks to the fans at the venue that played their part, since they were vocal right from Day 1.
Last Updated Feb 26, 2021, 3:19 PM IST