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ENGLAND were on the wrong end of cricketing carnage in Ahmedabad today as they succumbed to the embarrassment of a two-day defeat by India.
Seventeen wickets fell in just two scintillating sessions as batsmen on both sides were left in a spin by the pink ball.
England captain Joe Root claimed five for eight — his maiden five-for — as the hosts were dismissed for 145. But the tourists were then bowled out for just 81 as spinner Axar Patel took his match haul to 11 wickets.
India chased down a victory total of 49 under lights, with Rohit Sharma ending the most remarkable of days with a six to seal a comprehensive victory for the hosts.
Root believed that England’s first-innings collapse — from 74 for two to 112 all out — had already been their undoing, but insisted the result “doesn’t define us as a team.”
“Having won the toss and batted first, we felt like we got ourselves in a pretty good position there and we just didn’t capitalise on it,” he said. “You get to that sort of position, you really want to make it count.
“Had we even got 250 on that wicket, that would have been a really good score. It’s something we’ll look back on and try to make sure that we’re better for it.
“A week like this doesn’t define us as a team,” he said. “We know what we’re capable of doing and we’ll come back and use the hurt of this week as motivation going into that last game.”
Root added of his bowling figures: “It sums the wicket up slightly. If I’m getting five wickets on there then you can tell it is giving a fair amount of spin. It’s nice to contribute but disappointing it’s in a losing cause.”
And the captain pinpointed the pink ball — something England’s pacers had previously claimed could work to their advantage — as having a massive impact on the Test.
“That plastic ball gathers pace off the wicket and the majority of the time you’re beaten for pace rather than actually from the line of things,” Root said at the post-match presentation.
“But it’s high-quality bowling [by India]; you put the ball in good areas consistently and some are going to spin and some are going to go straight — it makes life very difficult for batters.
“Throughout the game, both sides did struggle with that, it wasn’t just us,” he added.
As for what his side can change before the final Test, he said: “We’ve got some fine players in that dressing room, some fine batters that are more than capable of making some big scores and we’ve seen with ball in hand were going to be able to take wickets here.
“Can we build pressure for long periods of time and similarly, when we get in a position of strength, can we really make it count?”
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