Chris Silverwood: England batsmen can learn from two-day Test defeat to India in Ahmedabad
England head coach Chris Silverwood says he hopes their batting struggles in the last two Test defeats in India will harden the resolve of his players and make them better cricketers.
Since amassing 578 in the first innings of their series-opening win in Chennai, England have failed to score more than 200 runs in each of their five subsequent at bats – including being bowled out for 81 in the two-day third Test in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
Silverwood saw his side muster a combined 193 runs in their two innings’ on a contentious, spinning surface, though when talking to reporters on Friday he refused to directly criticise the pitch.
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“We will be talking about certain things behind the scenes,” Silverwood said. “Joe [Root] and I have to have a sit down, have a conversation and see where we go with it.
“I’m not saying we’ve just got to accept things, I’m just saying at this moment in time I’ve not got anything to add.”
Silverwood still hopes his players can take some positives out of their humbling 10-wicket defeat in the third Test, however, adding: “You look at the guys we’ve got in there, your Popes, Crawleys, Sibleys, as tough as it is at the moment, hopefully this will galvanise them.
England were bowled out in the second session of the second day of the third Test against India. Having not been bowled out in a session from 1938 to 2016, England have suffered that fate five times in the last five years:
“When they do get on flat surfaces, better surfaces, it will make them even more hungry and desperate to make sure they get runs.
“When we travel to other countries, such as Australia, hopefully if they get themselves in they’ll get greedy and go big. This experience will just harden them towards that.
“Equally, the next time they experience a situation like this, it won’t be as much of a shock to them. As tough as it is and as painful as it is at this moment, hopefully we can take some good lessons.”
England return to the Narendra Modi Stadium for the fourth and final Test on Thursday, hoping for victory to square the series at 2-2.
Shortest ‘result’ Test matches since 1932
The tourists were seduced into picking a seam-heavy attack for the day-night encounter, hoping for considerable swing and carry from the pink ball under the lights, but with playing conditions back to normal for the final match-up, offspinner Dom Bess could come back into the side after missing their two recent defeats.
“He’s in contention,” confirmed Silverwood. “He was left out and Mo [Ali] played in the second Test, he was given a break.
“He was left out of this one because of potential movement we could have got out of the pink ball. All the evidence was that it moved in training, in the middle and the nets.
“From Bessy’s point of view I wouldn’t read too much into that. He has been great around the group.
“We’ve got a good group here who do get around each other and help each other out, keep each other going. You have to do that in bubble life, which is what we’re living in at the moment. We’re lucky we’ve got that sort of environment.”
Follow text commentary from the fourth Test between India and England in Ahmedabad on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app from 4am on Thursday, March 4.
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