After suffering a humiliating 10-wicket defeat in the third Test against India, England skipper Joe Root said he was "bitterly disappointed" and feels that the pink-ball played "quite a big factor" on that wicket.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday to go 2-1 up in the four-match series.
"Honestly, I think that ball had quite a big factor in this wicket. I think the plastic quoting on it and the hardness of the seam compared to the red SG ball, meant that it almost gathered pace off the wicket if it did not hit the seam... and because of the nature that it gathered pace off the wicket, I think that had a big part to play in things. Credit to Axar in particular, he utilized and exploited that exceptionally well," Root said in the post-match press conference.
In the end, Root winning the toss and batting first meant nothing as the visitors were completely outplayed in the game. England were all out on 112 in the first innings and Root said they need to find ways to score runs on such wickets.
"It was obviously a very challenging surface. We are bitterly disappointed and feel like we missed opportunity in the first innings. When we look at the position we were in, 70 odd runs for two, and in hindsight, we would have gotten to 200 and that would have been a really good score on that wicket. It is something that we got to learn from and get better and need to keep finding ways to score runs on surfaces like these," he said.
Chasing 49 for a win, India raced home with 10 wickets in the bag as Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (15) looked in a hurry to finish proceedings. Rohit finished it off in style by sending Root into the mid-wicket stands. The win has taken India one step closer to the final of the World Test Championship.
But the star of the show was hometown boy Axar as he finished with 11 wickets in the game (six in the first innings and five in the second). Senior partner Ashwin wasn't to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with 7 in the game.
With this defeat, England is out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship. England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match series, needed to win the four-match series 3-1 to play the final against New Zealand. England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points.
New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points. India need to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who is in third place with 69.2 percentage points.
( With inputs from ANI )
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