Crawley expects ‘very related pitch’ for last Check in opposition to India however ‘barely simpler to bat on’

Ahmedabad, March 2

Young England opener Zak Crawley on Tuesday echoed opposition vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s sentiments on the Motera strip which he believes will be “similar” in nature but red ball will make it “slightly easier” for the batsmen.

India beat England by 317 runs and 10 wickets respectively on successive rank turners at Chennai and Ahmedabad and the home team would like to make it 3-1 in their bid to book the berth for the World Test Championship final.

Also read: England can expect trial by spin after Rahane predicts another turner

“Yeah, I think it will be a very similar pitch this week. It wasn’t easy to score for sure, but it was the same for both sides, and they played very well compared to us. So, we had our chance to bat first and did well and unfortunately, we didn’t play well as we needed to,” Crawley said during a virtual press conference ahead of the fourth Test.

Quizzed whether batting will be easier in the final Test as it will be a red ball game again, he answered in affirmative.

“It depends on the pitch obviously, but I do think that it will be slightly easier. I felt that the pink ball was a bit harder (to play) and that ball skidded on quite quickly, which is why Axar got so many wickets through leg before and bowled.” 

Axar’s arm-ball will be a massive threat, conceded Crawley.

Also read: Australia right behind Ashes foes England ahead of final India Test

“I think he still has that ball in his armoury for sure and he’ll still be a massive threat with that one (red ball). But I think it might not skid on with the same pace as the pink ball but it won’t be completely different,” explained Crawley.     

Crawley was the only half centurion for England in the last game.

“It’s nice to score some runs. I probably had the best (chance) to face seamers early, but still nice to score some runs, nonetheless,” he said, adding that hopefully he will have the game-plan in the final match.

The 23-year-old Crawley, who has played 11 Tests in his nascent international career, also lavished praise on Axar Patel. The left-arm spinner has grabbed 18 wickets in two Tests that he has played so far.

“You know, he (Axar) is a very good bowler, especially in these conditions. He has been very accurate, he doesn’t give you much to score, and he has got one that goes straight on, in these conditions, one (to) turn, so he is very good bowler,” said Crawley.

Also read: Ashwin is constantly reinventing himself: Laxman

England are out of contention from the World Test Championship final, while India need a draw or a win to qualify for the summit clash at Lord’s against New Zealand. 

Crawley though insisted that it would still be a massive game for the visitors.

“It is a massive game. Obviously, a big game for them (India), they want to be in the World (Test) Championship final, so it is still lots to play for, whether it is the Test championship or not, you want to win every Test match playing,” he said. PTI

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