Zak Crawley: ‘It’s nowhere near over’ despite England’s first-innings collapse

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Batsman insists a lead of 100-150 could be defendable in fourth innings on tricky pitch

Zak Crawley has insisted the third Test is “nowhere near over” despite England being bowled out cheaply in their first innings.

Crawley, the one England batsman to shine amid another grim performance, believes batting last on this Ahmedabad surface could prove “extremely difficult” and suggested a target of as little as 100 could prove challenging for India.

So despite England having pulled off a couple of victories from unlikely positions in recent years – the Ashes Test at Leeds in 2019 springs to mind – Crawley dismissed the idea his side will require such a “miracle” this time.

“Absolutely, there’s a way back into this game,” Crawley said. “It’s nowhere near over. We could bowl them out for late 100s, early 200s. And if we can get any sort of lead on that pitch, we’ve a chance in the fourth innings.

“I don’t think it’s going to require a miracle, to be honest. Batting last on this pitch is going to be extremely difficult. If we bowl well on Thursday and then get a nice lead – even a 100-run lead or 150 – we’ve got a great chance of winning the game.”

While Crawley admitted England’s total – just 112; their lowest first-innings score in Test history in India – was “a bit short”, he did not think it was as far under par as might be anticipated.

“We know we’ve should have got a few more runs,” he said. “We’re a bit short. But if we had made 200, that would be a nice competitive score.

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