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Joe Root, Dom Bess and Jonny Bairstow were Yorkshire County cricketers on international duty with England for their four-match Test series in India, but the tourists squandered taking the lead on the Subcontinent and lost 3-1.
Captain Root and the ECB selectors came in for criticism over the sides picked lacking sufficient spin and then seam options for the bowling attack in the final two Tests. Both of those were played on much-maligned pitches at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Root recognises there are lessons to be learned from the tour and the conditions that England faced in Asia. A policy of rest and rotation didn’t serve the skipper well, including the use of Yorkshire and national teammate Bairstow as a specialist batsman for the final two Tests.
While Ben Foakes kept wicket and found himself completely overshadowed with the gloves by Indian counterpart Rishabh Pant, Bairstow got out for three ducks in four innings. Individual disappointment was part of a wider problem with the England team in these conditions.
Batting against spin proved beyond the touring team as Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin ran riot in India’s attack. The first pitch played on in Ahmedabad deteriorated very quickly, resulting in a low-scoring third Test which ended inside two of five scheduled days and guaranteed that England could only draw the series at best.
They crumbled in the final match, however, as India romped to an innings and 25 runs victory. Patel and Ashwin both took five-fors in the tourists’ final innings with precious little ideas or ingenuity offered by way of response to the orthodox and off break bowling masterclass on show from the hosts.
In such conditions, part-time bowler Root had an impact during the third Test. However, the England captain having to rely on himself to do damage is becoming a familiar narrative, albeit mainly with the bat rather than the ball.
Bess, who signed a four-year contract with Yorkshire following loan spells with the county, had a part to play at the business end of this series. However, the decision to drop him following the first Test victory in Chennai clearly knocked his confidence.
Changing a winning team backfired on England. Bess, who took 4-76 in India’s first innings of the series opener, found bowling difficult following a recall after his omission from the second and third Tests.
After struggling for consistent line and length, he became the tourists’ most expensive bowler. England’s next major overseas tour this coming winter means even more as it’s The Ashes in Australia.
Their dismal record Down Under and current form do not inspire confidence. That is why the odds forEngland are as big as 11/4 in the cricket betting available on the Ashes series of 2021-22 with Australia firm odds-on favourites. The odds might still change until the start of the Ashes series in November, so that the live betting odds might mix up things again.
England players, Yorkshire contingent included, must learn to handle unfamiliar, adverse conditions far better if they’re to have any chance of reclaiming the famous urn from the Baggy Greens this winter.