Sir Geoffrey Boycott questioned England’s team selection for the pink-ball Test against India at the Motera Stadium in Hyderabad, stating the tourists ‘should be embarrassed’.
Joe Root and Co.fielded three pacers in their 10-wicket loss to India, and retained Jack Leach as the only spinner in the playing XI. While the English captain registered a fifer, the strategy behind the bowlers’ selection effectively flopped as they ended on the losing side of their fifth shortest Test away from home.
In his article for the Daily Telegraph, the former captain threw a set of questions for the England selection team asking who brought up the idea of playing three pacers on a turning pitch while also stating that they should have done some homework on the Indian cricket team before finalizing their bowling composition.
“I would also like to know who had the bright idea of playing three fast bowlers on a turning pitch. They should be embarrassed. I always felt when I went abroad that the opposition knows their home pitches better than me because they had been playing on them forever. Watch how they play on their surfaces. That gives you a guide, and something is wrong if India play three spinners and we play three fast bowlers,” Geoffrey said.
Amidst former players criticizing the controversial conditions of the pitch at the Motera, Boycott responded to a fan tweet by saying, “There is nothing in the rules that says what type of pitch should be prepared. We had the first choice of the surface and they were better than us. Simple.”
There is nothing in the rules that says what type of pitch should be prepared. We had first choice of the surface and they were better than us. Simple. https://t.co/vOkBNEZgUm— Sir Geoffrey Boycott (@GeoffreyBoycott) February 25, 2021
India, on the other hand, deployed a spin-heavy bowling attack with Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin sharing most of the responsibilities. While Axar claimed 11 wickets across innings and became the first bowler to do so in a day-night Test, Ashwin scalped 7 en route to surpassing 400 test wickets.
India have now taken a 2-1 lead in the series, and this meant that England are officially out of the running for a place in the ICC World Test Championship final. The teams will reconvene for the fourth and final Test on March 4, at the same venue.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Adrian Dennis