Despite getting bowled out for just 112 in their first innings of the third Test, England are hopeful of giving India a target of at least 150 on “a wicket where batting fourth will be extremely difficult”.
“Have to aim for a lead (target for India) of at least 150. We are going to have to play extremely well but we are capable,” said England opening batsman Zak Crawley after the end of the first day’s play. Crawley scored the lone half-century in England’s innings and was dismissed for 53.
The right-handed England opener believed that a win for England is still within reach.
“I don’t think it will require a miracle actually. Batting last on this wicket will be extremely difficult… I think the pitch will continue to break up,” he said.
“If we bat well in the third innings and put a bit of pressure on them we can defend anything if the pitch continues to get worse.”
England’s scoring options were restricted as the India spinners kept a tight leash by bowling straight and tight. They couldn’t use innovative strokes like the reverse sweep.
“Did not use the reverse sweep as the ball kept coming straight. May use it in second innings if the ball turns consistently,” he added.
Asked if England made a mistake by picking just one spinner in Jack Leach, Crawley said, “If we’d got a few more runs things would look different. If they were 100 for 3 and we had 250 on the board we’d be well on top but unfortunately we didn’t get the runs and we put our bowlers until pressure.”