England's age-old fallacies against spin is exploited yet again by India in their home conditions as the visitors have quickly squandered their series lead to 2-1 to Virat Kohli after morale-boosting win in the first Test in Chennai.
While skipper Joe Root built the foundation for the first Test win, England since then haven't scored more than 165 in last four innings they have batted in with all big guns failing to fire agianst the spin-heavy Indian attack spearheaded by R Ashwin and aptly supported by Test debutant Axar Patel.
Axar finished with 11 wickets in the last Test in Ahmedabad (six in the first innings and five in the second), which turned controversial after the match was wrapped up in two days. Senior partner Ashwin wasn't to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with seven in the game.
And former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell said India decision to play with three spinners in the third Test was team's awareness of England's 'distinct ineptitude against spin'.
"Virat Kohli described the day-night third Test, in Ahmedabad, as 'bizarre', a word that aptly describes the England batsmen's attempts to cope with India's spinners. 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. India correctly calculated that would result in mental scarring and used it to their advantage," Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
"From the moment Axar Patel conjured up the ultimate thimble-and-pea trick to dismiss Jonny Bairstow with a straight delivery, England were in a spin. Is the ball over there? No, it's here. 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. Their choice to reverse-sweep rather than to leave their crease to change the bowler's length is a classic example," he added.