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England need miracle to save Test on Chennai 'beach'

Last updated on: February 14, 2021 21:15 IST
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Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh has called the surface "unacceptable" and former England captain Michael Vaughan described it as a "beach".

England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes top-scored for England with 42 not out off 107 balls even as his teammates struggled to get starts.

IMAGE: England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes top-scored for England with 42 not out off 107 balls even as his teammates struggled to get starts. Photograph: BCCI

England assistant coach Graham Thorpe declined to comment on the suitability of the pitch at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium but conceded his team would need a miracle to save the second Test against India on the spin-friendly surface.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin helped bowl out England for 134 on a pitch offering turn from day one and the ball kicked up dust after landing.

"It's incredibly challenging on that surface for us on day two," Thorpe told a video conference.

 

"They have a skilled spin attack on their own conditions and it was a very good toss to win. There are some balls in the pitch that you might not be able to do too much about."

Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh has called the surface "unacceptable" and former England captain Michael Vaughan described it as a "beach".

"In terms of commenting on the suitability of the pitch for a Test, that's for someone above me to say," former England batsman Thorpe said.

"It has obviously taken turn early in the game."

England need "something very, very special" on Monday to maintain their 1-0 lead in the four-Test series, Thorpe said.

He acknowledged his side would need a special effort to deny India victory.

"We need something very, very special to happen tomorrow and somebody do something amazing with the bat," Thorpe said.

"We knew we were going to have some tough times and the important thing is the dressing-room doesn't get too affected by today."

Thorpe also said that the side has to accept the on-field umpire's decision and trust the technology which is in place after England skipper Joe Root was seemed unhappy with the on-field umpire's decision.

In the final session of day two, Jack Leach caught Rohit Sharma in front of the wickets but the batsman was not playing the shot and the on-field umpire called it not out.

Root took the DRS but the on-field felt that Rohit was playing a shot and as a result, England lost the review as the ball made an impact outside the off stump.

Root took the review thinking Rohit had offered no shot, but when the on-field umpire Virender Sharma conveyed to him that a shot was offered, his shoulders went down.

Third umpire Anil Chaudhary was in no position to overturn the decision as the call of shot played or not relies completely with the on-field umpire and the third umpire has to give a final verdict based on that.

"We have to accept the decision which are made on the field and trust the technology. That's really all I can say on it. I think umpires make that decision, he has to decide and we have to accept it," Thorpe said in the virtual press conference on Sunday.

When asked about should ICC appoint a specialist umpire to look at those decisions Thorpe replied, "Quite possibly something which could be looked at."

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