Michael Vaughan has doubled-down on his assessment of England’s batting, slamming his former side for a “terrible Batting display” against India on day one of the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
Having won the all-important toss, Joe Root would have been hoping for a solid start from his openers.
But with the “scars” of the past two Tests “fresh in their minds”, England’s openers departed before Root had time for his first cup of tea.
Yet, as former spinner Graham Swann said in commentary, ‘It’s by no means the snake pit we had last week.”
It led to Vaughan slamming England’s top order.
“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,” the former top-order batsman tweeted.
A mere four hours later, the former England captain again tweeted his frustration as the tourists were bowled out for 205 — their first total over 200 in five innings.
“This has been a terrible Batting display .. No excuses..”
England’s struggles were confirmed by CricViz, who revealed that six of England’s 25 lowest Test scores in India had been in this four-match series.
It took until just the sixth over before Dom Sibley (2) played for spin and had his castle broken by left-arm finger spinner Axer Patel.
It was the third time in as many Tests that Patel had claimed the right-hander’s wicket.
Veteran Australian cricket journalist Malcolm Conn suggesting a “small truck” could have driven through the gap between bat and pad.
Two overs later Root made his way to the centre of the giant stadium, after Zak Crawley’s horrible shot as he tried to take Patel down town having four balls earlier driven splendidly down the ground along the deck to the boundary.
But having move to nine, the right-hander on this occasion got nowhere near the pitch of the ball and skied it to Mohammed Siraj, who took a safe catch.
His exit earned the wrath from broadcaster Harsha Bhogle, who described England’s efforts as “woeful” and “pre-determined”.
Indian great VVS Laxman adding: “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.”
Root never looked comfortable during his nine-ball stint at the crease, where he copped one on the inner thigh from a ball that jagged back and played and missed off Siraj.
Eventually, the right-arm quick got another ball to jag back and Root was struck on the back leg dead in front for five.
Root knew, and so did his partner Jonny Bairstow who told his captain not to bother to review the decision.
Bairstow and Ben Stokes have steadied the ship for England as the tourists went to lunch at 3-74.
It wasn’t long until Bairstow fell though, caught on the crease off Siraj and he was given out lbw.
Stokes threatened to make something of England’s first innings, but after some sharp spin from Washington Sundar the young tweaker managed to get one to go straight and trap Stokes in front. Just like Root, Stokes knew he was dead and buried and so he was.
Ollie Pope and Dan Lawrence put on 45, before India had a slice of luck. Pope skipped down the wicket and inside edged the ball onto his back leg, before it popped up and presented the simplest catch for Shubman Gill at short-leg.
India’s spinners then made light work of the tail, as Ravichandran Ashwin trapped Jack Leach in front.
In response, Jimmy Anderson gave England the perfect start as he removed Gill for a duck as he was struck on the pads.
India reached 24 for one with Rohit Sharma (8) and Cheteshwar Pujara (15) batting.
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