India vs England: Zak Crawley says hosts will watch out for backlash from tourists in second Test

  • By Stephan Shemilt
  • Chief cricket writer in Visakhapatnam

image source, Getty Images

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Zak Crawley top scored in England's first innings with 76 off 78 balls

Zak Crawley says India will be wary of another retaliation from England even though the hosts have a firm grip after two days of the second Test in Visakhapatnam.

India bowled out England for 253 and took a lead of 143 in the first innings, then extended their lead by moving to 28-0 at the close on Saturday.

“We were in a worse situation last week than we were this week so we still believe we can win this game,” Crawley told BBC Sport.

England's remarkable 28-run win in the first Test in Hyderabad was the first time India lost a home Test when they took a lead of more than 100 runs in the first innings.

It was also the third largest deficit England had overcome to win a Test.

“It's always important to know that you're playing against a team that never gives up and can fight back from any situation,” added opener Crawley.

“That gives us a lot of heart. You will know that we have what it takes. It’s a mental game – it definitely has to be on their minds a little bit.”

“Hopefully they believe a little bit that we can win and have a little bit of doubt in their mind.”

England took India's last four wickets in the first innings for 60 runs on the second morning, bowling out the home team for 396, a total that seemed no more than equal on a good pitch.

The tourists made 114-1 in reply, with Crawley hitting an attractive 76 on his 26th birthday.

But Crawley's dismissal, missing a point while advancing to Axar Patel, was the signal for England to lose six wickets for 68 runs.

“I was disappointed when I came out,” Kent’s Crawley said. “I wouldn’t have played any other shot, I would just play it better next time.”

“At times I felt we fought well as a group and at times they bowled really well. I didn't see many bad shots from us. It’s just the way it is.”

“They played really well and they are allowed to do that, but that also applies to us tomorrow and in the next few days. We still firmly believe we can win the game – we proved that last week. It's their day, but we're still in it.”

England were torn apart by Jasprit Bumrah's devastating reverse-swing bowling. The pace bowler took 6-45, including a stunning yorker that took out Ollie Pope's middle and leg stumps.

“He’s an incredible bowler, especially in these conditions,” Crawley said. “When the ball spins like that, it’s fantastic. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say, 'Well played.' He bowled brilliantly.”

“We have to find a way to counteract it. It's about developing a game plan and sticking to it. We’ll come up with some game plans to combat that and hopefully we’ll be nice.”

For Bumrah, a defeat by the England batting line-up ensured the 30-year-old achieved his best results in a home Test.

“I'm very happy, but I try not to look at numbers. I don’t want to put more pressure on myself and think about milestones,” he told TNT Sports.

“If you want to take wickets as a fast bowler in India, you have to learn to use the reverse swing because the new ball doesn’t always do much for you.”

“I grew up watching legendary bowlers throw magical shots with it and it really inspired me. I practiced with it a lot, learned how to field batters and made it one of my strengths.”