England pay price for pace-heavy attack on spinners’ paradise
While debate continues over the State of the Ahmedabad pitch and whether it is suitable for Test cricket, England shot themselves in the foot before a ball was bowled by opting for a pace-heavy attack on a spinners' paradise in the third match against India.
The hosts wrapped up an extraordinary 10-wicket victory inside two days in the day-night contest at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Spinners claimed 28 of the 30 wickets that fell in five sessions in the shortest completed Test match since 1935. Joe Root's decision to welcome back a fit-again Jofra Archer and a rested James Anderson in a four-pronged pace attack, while retaining Jack Leach as their only specialist spinner, backfired spectacularly.
Prior to the match, all-rounder Ben Stokes said England's seamers were "licking their lips" at the prospect of getting the pink ball to swing significantly.
But they were in for a shock as spin trumped swing, with even Root claiming his maiden five-wicket haul with his part-time offspin.