England’s cricketers are in the firing line after yet another inept batting display, this time on the opening day of the fourth Test against India.
Playing at the same ground in Ahmedabad where they lost inside two days last week, England is once again on the back foot.
After captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat, the visitors were bowled out for just 205, on a pitch generally viewed as being good for batting.
Nick Hoult in the Telegraph led the condemnation, arguing the pitch should have suited the English batsmen.
“There can be no excuses for this performance,” he wrote. “The pitch or grumbles about umpires cannot be used to distract from a poor England batting display that gifted India the upper hand.
“England’s batting problems can be summed up by the fact they have not managed a fifty partnership since the first Test and have just one batsman — Root — averaging above 29. From 578 in the first innings in Chennai, they have gone in reverse with batsmen guilty of repeating the same errors with more soft dismissals here.”
Leading commentator Harsha Bhogle was another who lamented a poor performance by England, describing their total as “below par.”
“Woeful from England so far,” he tweeted during their innings.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan is never shy in criticising his former team, and he could hardly believe what he was seeing.
“This has been a terrible batting display,” he tweeted.
“England’s batting so far worse than any of the last few Tests. This pitch is a perfect surface to get a big first innings score. No spin, ball coming onto the bat.
“Very poor batting so far.”
England found itself in immediate trouble, reduced to 2-15 within eight overs, with openers Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley both falling cheaply.
Sibley is average 18.71 from seven innings this series, although 87 of his 131 runs came in one innings, while Crawley is averaging 20.66 from three innings.
“The way both the England openers got out this morning, it’s fair to say the scars from the last two matches are still fresh in their minds,” said former Indian batsman VVS Laxman.
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