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"'Bizarre' aptly describes England batsmen's attempts to cope with India's spinners," says Ian Chappell

New Delhi, Feb 28: Former Australia captain and legendary commentator Ian Chappell termed England batsmen's attempt to counter Indian spinners as 'bizarre'. England's batsmen surrendered against India's spin attack in the second and third Test match of the ongoing four-match Test series and letting the 1-0 advantage slip to 1-2.

In his column for ESPNCricinfo, Chappell said English batters displayed a distinct ineptitude against spin and India used it to their advantage.

"Virat Kohli described the day-night third Test, in Ahmedabad, as 'bizarre', a word that aptly describes the England batsmen's attempts to cope with India's spinners," Chappell wrote.

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"India's decision to select three spinners for the Test was prompted by England's batting on a tricky Chennai pitch, where their batsmen - Joe Root excepted - displayed a distinct ineptitude against spin.

"India correctly calculated that would result in mental scarring and used it to their advantage.

"From the moment Axar Patel conjured up the ultimate thimble-and-pea trick to dismiss Jonny Bairstow with a straight delivery, England were in a spin. Is the ball over there? No, it's here. When faced with a serious spin challenge, the England batsmen didn't trust their defence, which eventually resulted in panicked attempts to attack the Indian spinners. Their choice to reverse-sweep rather than to leave their crease to change the bowler's length is a classic example," he added.

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Talking about England's middle-order batsman Ollie Pope's technique, Chappell said he had the right idea to use his feet against Indian spinners but had the wrong execution.

"Back in Ahmedabad, Ollie Pope decided to use his feet against the Indian spinners. He had the right idea but the wrong execution," Chappell wrote.

"Firstly, he jumped rather than glided out of the crease. Secondly, his front foot pressed forward but the back one lingered as if searching for the safety of the crease.

"I was told two crucial things about footwork when I was very young: 'Get stumped by three yards not three inches,' my coach said, 'and never think about the keeper when you leave the crease."

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Story first published: Sunday, February 28, 2021, 19:04 [IST]
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