Pink-ball Test implosion not one-off for England as Joe Root's men top list of sub-100 scores in last 5 years

5 months ago 11

The Pink-ball Test was over inside two days. It was the shortest completed Test match in the post-war era, since 1935 as India clinched a 10-wicket win at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday to go 2-1 up against England in the 4-Test series.

England, who posted 578 in the first innings of the 1st Test in Chennai, offered very little resistance to the high-quality spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin. They missed straight deliveries, were beaten in the air and off the pitch as Joe Root's side were bundled out for a little over than 100 in the first innings and 19 less than 100 in the 2nd innings over 2 days.

England gave themselves a window of opportunity when Joe Root picked up a 5-wicket haul, triggering an India collapse on Day 2. The hosts were all-out for 145 in their first innings and managed just a 33-run lead.

However, England were not able to seize the moment. In the very first over of their second innings, they lost half-centurion from the first innings, Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow for naughts. Barring a 25 from Ben Stokes, not many troubled the scorers much in Ahmedabad. England were bundled out for 81. India needed just 7.4 overs to wipe off the 49-run target.

There was a lot of chatter about the Ahmedabad pitch being unplayable and unfair to the batsmen after the Pink-ball Test ended inside 2 days. However, both India captain Virat Kohli and England skipper Root refused to point fingers at the pitch and lamented poor batting approach for the early finish at the Motera.

England's sub-100 totals in last 5 years

As it turns out, this is not the first time England have collapsed to less than 100 in trying conditions in Test matches in the last 5 years. While the Three Lions have gone on to become a powerhouse in limited-overs cricket with a World Cup title in 2019, their Test batting seems to be an area of concern.

In the last 5 years, no team apart from England has been bundled out for less than 100 in Tests more than twice. England have collapsed to sub-100 totals as many as 5 times in the last 5 years.

England 58 (first innings of match) vs New Zealand in Auckland i 2018

England 77 (second innings of match) vs West Indies in Bridgetown in 2019

England 85 (first innings of match) vs Ireland at Lord's in 2019

England 67 (second innings of match) vs Australia at Leed's in 2019

England 81 (third innings of match) vs India at Motera in 2021

Interestingly, 2 of them have come at home and the other 3 have been away from home. England, in fact, have managed to win two of those matches -- the Leed's encounter against Australia and the Lord's match against Ireland.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are second on the list with 2 sub-100 totals each in the last 5 years. India have had only one sub-hundred total in Tests in the said period. Not many of us can forget the 49-all out that Virat Kohli's men slipped to after dominating two days of the Pink-ball Test in Adelaide last year.

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