These victories though, had camouflaged the brittleness of the English batting-line up and the moment Root failed to get going, this aspect of their game was exposed ruthlessly by the Indian spinners.
However, England would fancy a convincing fight-back in the third Test in Ahmedabad, not only because it’s a day-night affair, but because they would also likely have the services of the experienced keeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow at their disposal. Bairstow scored 139 runs at an average of 46 during the Lanka sojourn before he went home, thanks to the ECB‘s rotation policy.
“Jonny did well in Sri Lanka. So we have got a choice to make going into this match. We know what Jonny’s credentials are. He’s a good player against spin and has a decent record. So, he’s certainly going to be in with a chance (to make the XI),” said Graham Thorpe, England’s assistant coach on Monday.
Players who are in form like to continue with the flow. So there are times when rotation policies can prove counterproductive. Nevertheless, Thorpe chose to look at the brighter side, saying: “I feel that when they come back again, they are a little more fresh mentally. Sometimes the benefits of going away means that you don’t overthink things. They feel rejuvenated. Jonny has practiced well over the last few days and has looked fine in the nets. So the mental freshness is a real positive for him. ”
The Sardar Patel Stadium will be hosting it’s first game after a massive overhaul and it remains to be seen how the new set of lights and seats with bright colours affect the game if teams choose to employ short-ball tactics. “The sight screens are in place. The seating has a certain colour so it could be slightly difficult for the fielders at times,” reckoned Thorpe.