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IND vs ENG | Pitch is turning but only when you hit the right areas, insists Axar Patel
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Axar Patel, who's making his Test debut at the Chepauk, reckons that it's a turning pitch but you have to nail the right areas to get the most out of it. He also added that the team's confidence was greatly boosted by the partnership between Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin.  The venue of the first and second Test might be the same but not the nature of the deck as the pitch has been turning in the ongoing Test as opposed to the series opener, played on a relatively flat wicket. Despite the assistance from the wicket, there has been a lot of difference between the way both the team's spinners have bowled. While Indian spinners have able to gain maximum out of a helpful track, the same hasn't been the case with England duo of Moeen Ali and Jack Leach. Especially, Moeen has bowled quite a few full tosses pretty much like Dom Bess and at times both have lacked the penetration as shown by the Indian spinners. Axar Patel, who took two wickets today for India, also suggested the same and stated that one has to bowl in the right areas to reap rewards. “Like the way the wicket is behaving, it’s turning. But it only turns when you bowl the right length, the right pace. If you are a little slow, it doesn’t turn a lot. So if you hit the right pace and line, it becomes tough for them to bat. It becomes important for the bowlers to bowl the right pace,” Axar told reporters in a virtual presser at the end of day three. There have been a lot of talks around the nature of the wicket but the left-arm spinner asserted that players need to adapt just like Indians do on seaming wickets. “Actually if you look at my last dismissal (Root) one, it was down to the umpire, so I can’t say a lot on that. But here on this wicket, I think we played really well, so when we are able to score runs, they shouldn’t have issues. I think they (England) should change the mindset about the wicket because we also play on seaming wickets.”Notably, if not for injury, the Gujarat spinner would have played the first Test too, and he reckons it was frustrating for him to miss out earlier. Once the No.1 ODI bowler in the world, he also said that the wicket has suited his strength as he tries to bowl accurately. “I was about to play in the first Test, it was frustrating for me but I never got irritated by it. I just took some time and worked on my fitness, my physio told me that it was a niggle and it would become alright for the second Test. It was frustrating but if you look at it positively, I could give my 100% here. I have played with Ash a lot, his mindset and his bowling to both left and right-handed batsman. He talks a lot about mindset and how I could trouble the batsman with my bowling.”“The way I bowl, accuracy is my strength, it has worked well for me. It’s just that you have to be accurate, focused and keep bowling the same line and length. The wicket will take care of itself, you just have to keep bowling to your strength,” Axar said.Indian batting got off to shaky start and were at one position, 106 for 6 today but then Kohli and Ashwin combined in a big partnership with the former getting a fifty and the latter making an emphatic century that helped India to 286 runs. Axar remarked that the team's confidence was boosted by the Kohli-Ash partnership and also how the team doesn't pay much attention to the outside noise. “I think our team’s confidence was boosted by Ashwin’s knock. We had a lot of soft dismissals, the way Pujara got out. We were a bit nervous but the way Ashwin and Virat played, we had immense confidence and when there are runs on board, you tend to be more confident of your chances.”Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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IND vs ENG | Have played around the world but winning the Chennai Test incomparable, insists Jofra Archer 
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England's Jofra Archer tasted success in his very first Asia Test in India, which is rare, and the pacer has admitted that nothing compares to this win having played all around the world. He also termed the fifth day Chennai surface the worst he has seen, though he expected more fight from India.Winning in India remains the biggest challenge for Test teams in world cricket. No other team even comes close to India's crazy home record. They last lost a Test series in 2012/13 while, overall, they have only lost two Test series since the start of the century. In the last decade, Team India lost only three Tests at home. So, all these stats plus the high of winning Test series Down Under with a depleted side made Virat Kohli's men the topdogs to win the first Test against England. Unlike the Australia series, however, India didn't even show any fight let alone being in game to win. England were clinical enough throughout the game and never gave India a sniff for a fightback. Jofra Archer, who was crucial in England's first innings bowling efforts, taking two wickets in his opening spell, expressed his pleasure at winning the Chennai Test, a feeling and feat which he finds 'incomparable'. "I’ve played in tournaments around the world, and had success, but winning a Test is one of those indescribable feelings, especially against a really good team. Nothing compares," Archer wrote in his column for the Daily Mail, reported HT.There was a lot of hype around the Chepauk wicket. It was heavily criticized in 2016 when it hosted India and England for being excessively flat. But this time the newly appointed curator had promised that there will be sporting wicket with English looks that will support pace bowlers on first day, followed by two batting days and then the last two days in favor of spinners. On the contrary the first two days of the Test was akin to a graveyard for bowlers. There wasn't much carry on the wicket which was slow and turned tricky and unfavorable by the time India's first innings commenced on day three. Commenting on the surface, Archer stated that it was the 'worst surface' that he had seen. He also added that he didn't expect India to surrender so quickly on final day of the Test series opener. “On the fifth day, it was probably the worst surface I’ve seen — its orange colour, bits missing, rough patches for the bowlers to aim at. When we walked out in search of nine wickets on the fifth day, I was very hopeful we would complete the job — although these India players have big reputations and are at home, so should be able to cope with conditions better than anyone. So, I didn’t expect us to skittle them. Equally, I didn’t expect it to finish not long after afternoon drinks."India will take on England in second Test in Chennai again from Saturday onwards before the Caravan moves to Ahmedabad for the last two Tests of the series. At the moment, England have a lead of 1-0.  Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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High time resilient Rory doesn’t burn down his chances and reputation
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"There are no bruises left, not that I’ve seen” - Rory Burns.This is quite deep and gives an impression to have come straight out of a poet/philosopher's best of creative days. But, in essence, it pretty much symbolizes the brand of cricket Rory Burns has played over the years. Tough, full of grit, ample of resilience, resistance and self-denial. Just like in cinema there are different genres of heroes that evoke varied emotions, cricket also has different sets of artists that exist to elevate our life experiences and touch us with their unique blend.Cricket romanticizes not just a contest between bat and ball, but it’s also a vehicle to see a bigger picture in life. There lie hidden gems of parallels in small details. For Burns, he romanticizes struggle. He's not the most gifted. His stance, technique and idiosyncrasies surely ain't winning any aesthetics competition. But when he's getting hit by Pat Cummins on the same spot twice and still gutting it out, playing the patience battle, and weathering a gutsy and world-class Aussie bowling attack, he shows heart. This is Ashes. It's akin to a war going in the name of innocuous cricket. But Burns with his weird stance and battle-hardened mind is fighting. Standing on two feet, giving every inch of what he has got. The technique might be befuddling not the fight. And it connects. It gives us goosebumps. Hope. He's a character. Earning plaudits. Those who have followed English cricket from close quarters and are well versed with the country's history rate his toughness in the elite category of Ken Barrington, John Edrich and Graham Thorpe. This toughness and doggedness were central when he led Surrey to their first-ever County Championship triumph in 2018 after a gap of 16 long years. Or the reason that he was able to score runs persistently despite the tricky English tracks. The southpaw was successful in crossing 1,000 FC runs for five successive seasons between 2014-18 for his county. Or his many gritty knocks thus far in the career be it, the Edgbaston 133, Pallekele's 59 and 43, Bridgetown's 84, Hamilton's 101, Manchester's 81 or Centurion's 84. But just as these virtues of defiance, toughness evoke the human spirit and draw us closer to characters like Burns, there are certain frustrations that also creep in. Contrast is thrilling at times, and daredevilry more so, but only when it comes off. And this is the part of Burns that gives heartaches. Fast forward to the first session of the first Test between India and England. Burns is again back to his tough old school self. He has gone unscathed after the Bumrah-Ishant opening burst with his compact defense, precise off-stump judgement, and unflappable temperament. He's showing decisive footwork against spinners. He has already combined in a fifty-run-stand with Sibley, a feat that no other visiting opening pair has achieved since 2017 in India. It's a flat wicket and a chance to make it big and shine for Burns. To cash in on flat tracks after all the struggles that he has to put on tricky English surfaces. A chance to up his average. A chance to add to his centuries tally. But his tendency of gift wrapping wicket after a spell of perseverance is starting to creep up again. He's playing a fine sweep exposing his stumps. He's playing slog sweeps. Suddenly, the memories of the 2019 Oval Ashes Test have started resurface. Burns is quite a regular in not reaping the rewards for his hard work. The Oval Test. First innings, after getting well set, making 47 off 87 putting in the hard yards, a late and strange decision to pull gets him dismissed. In the second innings of the same Test, he weathers the storm in the first 15 overs and then gives his wicket on 20 to drag down from Lyon. Similarly, last year, Southampton Test, West Indies the opponent and it's the second innings. After getting well set on 42 off 104 seeing off 36 overs, he gifts wrap his wicket to Roston Chase's half-tracker. He has been guilty of playing aerial shots or the ones he shouldn't be playing unnecessarily. Getting back to the Chennai Test, after seeing off the tough phase, getting well-set, Burns who's more known for coming down the track to play spinners or employing conventional sweep tries to reverse-sweep R Ashwin in the first session of the first day of a Test. Now, such audacity would have been understandable if he was a good proponent of reverse-sweeps or it was his go-to-shot but as per CricViz, it was only the eighth reverse sweep Rory Burns had played in his Test career. No wonder he got out in a forgettable manner. He was in full control. Only 6% of his shots were bringing a miss or an edge – the average for all Test cricket is 15%, let alone the new ball period. He threw it away yet again. Period.Burns has played a substantial amount of cricket. In what is his 22nd Test, and after 39 innings, his average is 32.46, which is quite a fall from his FC average of 42.18. His biggest problem has been his inability to capitalize after seeing through the testing times, which is a little bizarre. Eight times he has made scores between 25 and 50 while only twice he has been able to convert the fifties into hundreds out of 10 times. These are the things that separate good players from great ones. And for someone, who's touted as a potential option to replace Root as England captain, there's even a greater need to push on in big tours like India where your mettle is tested to the core.There's no denying the fact that Burns has been a revelation after his initial struggles and has already shown that since Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, Burns is the best possible option to open in a country, which struggled for openers in the last decade. But it's about maximizing his potential, given he has everything in him to be one of the best opening batsmen in the world only if he doesn't burn down his chances like in Chennai, Oval or Southampton. Follow us on Facebook hereStay connected with us on Twitter hereLike and share our Instagram page here .
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