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by Farokh Engineer Thursday 31 July 2014
The wicket was turning a bit and although Moeen Ali may not be the best bowler in the world, credit to him for taking six wickets.
It's fair to say this wicket was like one in Chennai or Mumbai and the Indian players are certainly used to that.
But today they didn't have the willpower to save the game.Had England enforced the follow-on yesterday, the game might have been over before today, but with the series 1-1, it's all to play for at Old Trafford.Just as England shot themselves in the foot at Lord's, where India won by 95 runs, India shot themselves in the foot here. While England batted first, got a huge total, and all credit to them, India should have batted better, and batted for longer in their second innings.
Indian batsmen are used to playing on turning wickets and there is no outstanding spinner. Well done to Moeen for getting six wickets, but he certainly wasn't unplayable and India just didn't apply themselves.India brought in Rohit Sharma to extend the batting line-up but it didn't make much difference. He played very well in the first innings but threw his wicket away before lunch on day three, at a time when there was no chance of India winning the game, and they had to try to save it.Maybe they are too used to playing Twenty20 cricket; they are not used to the sound defence that's needed in Test cricket, and they paid the price.There have to be changes for the fourth Test.
First of all, I would definitely play Ravichandran Ashwin. I don't know why they've left him out as he would have been an absolute handful for England here, particularly with six left-handers in their line-up.I don't know who selects the team but for me it's diabolical.
More obviously, Ishant Sharma should come back once he is fully fit, even though Pankaj Singh didn't bowl too badly, but Ishant is the most experienced pace bowler in the squad so he should certainly be playing.But a few other players will be looking over their shoulders too. Rohit Sharma could be one of them as I don't know whether he will get another opportunity. Stuart Binny certainly shouldn't be in the team. I would prefer Ashwin to him - let's not forget Ashwin can bat and is a good fielder too.Nevertheless, I am already looking forward to the Old Trafford Test, and I will be heading to my old home ground.
I am now one of the vice-presidents of Lancashire County Cricket Club so I will be looking forward to welcoming the Indian team - and England, of course - and let's hope it's a great Test match.1-1 in the series is not a bad thing from a cricketing point of view or a financial points of view for the grounds because now we head to Old Trafford and The Oval, and it's winner takes it all - may the better side win.
Lycamobile ambassador Farokh Engineer was talking to John Pennington. To win a holiday to India with Lycamobile, click here.
© Cricket World 2014