England caught in spin web again | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 05, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 05, 2021

England caught in spin web again

England endured a top-order collapse before they registered a below-par 205 in their first innings in the fourth and final Test against India in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

A sixth consecutive sub-200 total looked on the cards for the tourists after they slumped to 30-3 in the morning session. Ben Stokes (55) and Dan Lawrence (46) propped them up but England might regret not making the most of the perfect batting conditions at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

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India, who are 2-1 up in the four-test series, were 24-1 at stumps and will be confident against a spin-heavy England attack with James Anderson as the lone frontline seamer, while Stokes battles an upset stomach.

"We're more than capable of scoring at least 300 on that pitch," Stokes said afterwards. "It's frustrating, but we can't dwell on it too much. Overall, it's a much better wicket than the last time we played here."

Axar Patel was the wrecker-in-chief in that match, which India won in two days, and the left-arm spinner returned to haunt England again after Joe Root elected to bat.

Indian spinners claimed eight of the 10 English wickets…Patel (4-68), Ravichandran Ashwin (3-47) and Washington Sundar (1-14)…on a pitch which looked quite different from the one used for the third test in which 30 wickets fell in five sessions.

"It was a batting wicket, and it was coming onto the bat nicely, so we planned to bowl patiently and keep bowling at the same spot," Mohammad Siraj said.

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