England tour of India - Cricket: Batting woes continue to haunt England team
Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2001, 23:38 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Jaipur: England goes into next week's first Test against India without solving its batting problems after crashing to 170 in its last warm-up game in Jaipur on Wednesday.The tourists, resuming at 37 for no loss, looked uncomfortable against both pace and spin before being dismissed in 51.3 overs to concede a 63-run lead to India A on the penultimate day of the three-day match.The hosts also found batting difficult as they struggled to reach 75 for three in its second innings, with all-rounder Craig White rocking the top order with a triple strike in his lively opening spell.Seamer Iqbal Siddiqui, who turns 27 next month, grabbed four wickets to trigger the England collapse which saw the tourists lose seven wickets for 46 runs on a pitch of uneven bounce.Siddiqui's four-wicket performance did not go unnoticed as the national selectors included him in a 14-member squad for the first Test against England, starting at Mohali on December 3.Left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi, who played the last of his 15 Tests against Zimbabwe a year ago, however, missed the bus despite finishing with three for 39 off 16 overs.England, who had made 163 for nine in its previous innings on Saturday, did little to enhance its batting reputation as three of its specialist batsmen failed to build on a good start.Captain Nasser Hussain, top-scorer with 40, again began on a promising note but could not complete his half-century for the third successive innings on the tour.The England skipper, who made 46 and 38 in his last match at Hyderabad, hit one six and five fours in his 88-ball knock before being bowled by Joshi.Opener Mark Butcher (37) and Michael Vaughan (22) also failed to play long innings, adding to their team's woes ahead of the opening Test.England was in danger of being shot out for less than 150 before wicket-keeper James Foster (32) and Richard Dawson (19) put on 42 for the last wicket.It was, however, a minor consolation for the tourists who have yet to adjust themselves to Indian conditions before the three back-to-back Tests.