Manchester Evening News

Zak goes on the attack as India on top in second Test

- By RORY DOLLARD

ZAK Crawley epitomised both sides of England’s ‘risk and reward’ strategy as India grabbed control of the second Test but has vowed not to dial down his attacking instincts.

Birthday boy Crawley, who turned 26 on day two in Visakhapat­nam, batted majestical­ly at times on his way to 76 from 78 balls but his dismissal proved a turning point.

Responding to the hosts’ 396 all out, England were motoring along on 114 for one when Crawley tried to smash Axar Patel’s third ball back over his head and holed out.

England never regained their composure as the imperious Jasprit Bumrah tore them down for 253 with a brilliant six-wicket haul, but Crawley had no regrets about going on the attack.

“I wasn’t happy to get out when I did but I’d definitely do the same thing again,” said Crawley, who hit 11 fours and two sixes before coming unstuck.

“I was disappoint­ed with myself, especially when the wickets fell afterwards, but I’ll keep telling myself to back my aggressive game because that’s what got me here.

“If I start doubting myself in those situations and not backing my instincts then I revert back to the player I was a couple of years ago, really not scoring many runs for my team.

“I’m happy that I’m much more aggressive now and that’s helped with consistenc­y.

“If that one doesn’t turn and I hit him over his head for six then suddenly he’s under a lot of pressure and I can milk him for two hours or whatever.

“There’s risk and reward there. I’ve done it before and it’s come off but unfortunat­ely it didn’t come off today.”

Crawley managed to get the better of Bumrah, at one stage hitting the seamer for four boundaries in a single over, but he was alone in that.

The 30-year-old was an unstoppabl­e force once the ball started to reverse swing, gutting England’s middle order and mopping up at the end to finish with six for 45.

India stretched their advantage to 171 with all 10 second-innings wickets intact by the close of play.

“With a good couple of partnershi­ps in the second innings we can really put them under some pressure,” Crawley added.

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