Vizag Wicket Looks a Bit Better For Seam, Reckons England Opener Zak Crawley

Zak Crawley in action during the first Test in Hyderabad (Credit; AP)

Zak Crawley in action during the first Test in Hyderabad (Credit; AP)

England opener Zak Crawley revealed that his teammates who have seen the Vizag pitch for the second reckon that the pitch is a bit damper than Hyderabad and good assist the seamers.

After India’s loss to England in the 1st Test in Hyderabad on what could be best described as a true wicket – probably the best prepared in India in recent times, the pitch at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam is something that will be in the minds of the England team and two days removed from the start of the second Test, England opener Zak Crawley reckons that the Vizag pitch is bit greener

So, this wicket looks a bit better to seam, according to the guys, I haven’t seen it, like I said, but that’s what they said,” Crawley told reporters during England’s press conference after their first session ahead of the second Test. “It’s just a bit damper, I think here it seems like they’re a bit greener, so we’ll see what happens there.”

Of course, the cover of green that Crawley is mentioning may not be there come match day, but the opener and the England team, riding high from a memorable win at Hyderabad are not bothered too much with the kind of pitch that will be on offer this Friday or the fact that India will be missing the services of their two-star players in KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja.

“We haven’t spoken about that, to be honest,” Crawley told reporters when asked about the injuries concerns in the Indian camp. “As I said, it sounds a cliche, but we stick to what we do well, we’re not too worried about what they’re doing. Two very good players missing, but I’m sure looking at their depth, they’ve got two very good players coming in. So that won’t change anything for us too much. We just try and play the same, read the conditions on day one and see what happens from then.”

Even though a special knock from Ollie Pope and Tom Hartley’s 7-for was the cornerstone for England’s win, it was the opening pair of Crawley and Ben Duckett, who applied the pressure on the Indian bowlers early on with their unorthodox approach to the counter spin. Both batters used the conventional sweep and reverse sweep to great effect to not only score runs but to force the Indian spinners to rethink their line and lengths.

“I think sweeping and reverse sweeping when it’s spinning is a good option. It takes the spin out of it, kind of. If you can get to the pitch, bit like Pope did so well. And I think the reverse sweep is more common for us because there are just fewer fields there,” Crawley elaborated, adding, “They always seem to have two men out on the leg side. If they had two men out on the offside, we’d probably play the sweep; kind of just trying to hit in the gaps and the sweep, their reverse sweep comes probably just as naturally to us as a normal sweep.”

Based on England’s training session, today it seems that they will have to make a forced change by replacing an injured Jack Leach, who even though came to the practice nets, largely was seated and was in visible discomfort even when he was walking.

“He’s a tough kid, though, Leachy. So, I’m not sure. You can never know with Jack, so we’ll see in a couple of days. But, yeah, you can never really ride him. So we’ll see how he pulls up,” said Crawley when enquired about Leach’s injury.

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