Important to not feel too down about it: Graham Thorpe on game situation in Chennai


England batting coach Graham Thorpe has admitted that the side is disappointed with the huge deficit they are facing after two days of the second Test in Chennai.He, however, added that it was important for the visitors to remain positive despite being on the backfoot.After India posted 329 in their first innings, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin ran through the England batting line-up with excellent figures of 5 for 43.Debutant left-arm spinner Axar Patel also picked up two scalps, including the big one of England skipper Joe Root for six. Speaking at a post-match conference, Graham Thorpe admitted that things did not go according to plan for England.He said:“We didn’t execute our plans. There were some good deliveries and fine catches as well from India today. We know we wanted to do better. We are definitely disappointed with the deficit in the game after two days. However, it is important we don’t allow ourselves to get too down about it.”Some players are playing here for the first time: Graham ThorpeGraham Thorpe, who played exactly 100 Tests for England, pointed out that there is some inexperience in this English line-up.The 51-year-old believes this inexperience was exploited by India, who took full advantage of the home conditions. Thorpe continued:

“Sometimes when you are playing at home, you have certainly got an advantage. We all know about India’s record at home. Their spinners are experienced bowling on these surfaces. We have got some players who are playing for the first time in this part of the world. So we have to keep that in perspective for our players as well.”When asked about how England are planning to tackle India’s spin challenge, Graham Thorpe, who was considered among the better batsmen against slow bowling, explained:“While playing spin, you have to pick the length well. That puts you in a position to either be able to score or trust your defence, if you cannot actually score. That’s how we try to simplify the plan for the players.”India ended Day 2 of the Chennai Test at 54 for 1 in their second innings, with Rohit Sharma unbeaten on 25 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 7. The hosts now have an overall lead of 249 runs.
Published 14 Feb 2021, 18:05 IST

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Knew the pitch would turn from Day 1: Ajinkya Rahane 


Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has admitted that the hosts were aware that the surface at Chepauk for the second Test against England would start turning from the first day itself.Following India’s 227-run defeat in the first Test in Chennai, there were speculations that the pitch for the second Test at the same venue would be a rank turner.India won the toss and batted first, reaching 300-6 at stumps, thanks to a belligerent 161 from Rohit Sharma and a well-compiled 68 from Ajinkya Rahane.Speaking at the end of the first day’s play, Ajinkya Rahane described the conditions as ‘something to be expected’ in India, when he said:“I thought it was proper Indian conditions, and we knew it (the pitch) would turn from day one.”On what the team’s thinking was after winning the toss and batting first, Ajinkya Rahane said that it was all about building partnerships.“We were talking about partnerships – Rohit and Pujara, and then Rohit and myself. We were discussing intent – positive intent on this wicket. What happened in the first game was (in the) past,” observed Ajinkya Rahane.You can’t be too defensive on this wicket: Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane observed that the wicket is a tricky one to bat on due to the amount of turn it offered on Day 1. Hence, defensive play on this surface could be fraught with risk. Elaborating further on the same, the vice-captain also praised Rohit Sharma’s hundred, saying:“You can’t be too defensive on this wicket, and need to be one step ahead of the opposition. We discussed in our batting meeting on what shots to play, and we had to make them change the game-plan. And that’s what Rohit did (playing sweeps). 150-plus on this wicket is really good. I enjoyed the cover-drive against Moeen Ali against the spin.”While Ajinkya Rahane (67) and Rohit Sharma (161) added 162 runs for the fourth wicket, England fought back well in the last session. The visitors dismiss both batsmen and Ravichandran Ashwin (13) as well, but India ended the day on the ascendancy.On the plan for Day 2, the Indian vice-captain said that one more decent partnership could see the hosts take control of the game, saying:“Add another 50-60 runs from here. One more partnership from Rishabh and Axar…we’re in the game. When they were adjusting the pace and bowling quicker through the air, it was difficult.”

At stumps on Day 1 of the second Test in Chennai, Rishabh Pant was unbeaten on 33, while debutant Axar Patel was giving his fellow left-hander company on 5.
Published 13 Feb 2021, 18:19 IST

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