Bengaluru, March 2: The decider of the ongoing four-match Test series is set to get underway on Thursday, and ahead of the final Test, England batsman Zak Crawley lauded Axar Patel’s brilliant show in the third Test.
India secured an unassailable 2-1 lead over visitors England, as the Men in Blue wrapped up the third Test in just two days at the new Narendra Modi Stadium.
Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin’s brilliant spells saw India register a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England. Crawley, who was dismissed by Axar in both innings, said the Indian spinner doesn’t allow the batsmen to score runs.
Speaking during a virtual press conference, Crawley said, “He (Axar) is a very bowler, especially in these conditions. He is extremely accurate and does not give you much to score.”
In the third Test, Crawley had scored a half-century in the first innings, but lost his wicket on the very first delivery in the second innings.
The third Test saw both England and Indian batsmen failing with the willow and this led to criticism of the pitch. While many, including Rohit Sharma and Sunil Gavaskar said the pitch was not to blame, most blamed the pitch for the batsmen’s failure, which saw the match end in two days.
Ahead of the final Test, which is set to be played at the same stadium, Crawley said that the wicket for the fourth Test will be similar to the previous one. The batsman further added that the Indian side did well and England did not play up to the standards.
“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,” said Crawley on Tuesday.
The defeat in the third Test ended England’s hopes of qualifying for the World Test Championship Final at Lord’s. Despite being out of contention, Crawley said the mindset in the camp won’t change.
“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,” signed off the England batsman.
A draw will see India’s place in the WTC final. If Virat Kohli’s men win or draw the final test, the Men in Blue will qualify for the summit clash and will take on New Zealand in the final in Lords in June.
The fourth Test of the ongoing series is set to get underway on Thursday (March 2).