England batsmen didn’t belief their defence in opposition to spin, says Ian Chappell

New Delhi: India figured out England’s general “ineptitude against spin” during the second Test in Chennai and used it to their advantage in the pink ball game by unleashing a spin-heavy attack on a helpful track, says former Australia captain Ian Chappell. “India’s decision to select three spinners for the Test was prompted by England’s batting on a tricky Chennai pitch, where their batsmen — Joe Root excepted — displayed a distinct ineptitude against spin,” Chappell wrote in a column for ESPNcricinfo. “India correctly calculated that would result in mental scarring and used it to their advantage.”

Chappell said it was poor defence which led to England’s collapse in the third Test. “When faced with a serious spin challenge, the England batsmen didn’t trust their defence, which eventually resulted in panicked attempts to attack the Indian spinners,” he wrote. “Their choice to reverse-sweep rather than to leave their crease to change the bowler’s length is a classic example. How can a risky premeditated shot be less dangerous than what was previously a trusted technique to unsettle good spinners?” he added.

“Shrewd use of footwork not only helps negate the spin but also puts a batsman in a position to direct the ball where he wants. To be fair, this is a skill to be learned at a young age. Which prompts the question: why is it not widely taught in England, where sweeping is misguidedly touted as the secret to playing spin bowling successfully?” pti

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