Zak Crawley declares, ‘fit to play Pink Ball Test against India’


Ind vs Eng 3rd Test – Zak Crawley fit again for England ahead of Ahemabad Test: England’s young batsman Zak Crawley has declared himself fit for the third Test against India which will be Pink-ball Test and scheduled to begin from February 24 in Ahemdabad. Notably, Crawley slipped on a marble floor and sprained his right wrist before a training session in Chennai due to which he was ruled out of the first two Tests of the series.

However, 23-year-old Crawley, who scored only 35 runs across four innings in Galle on the tour of Sri Lanka, is now available and could be used as an opener for the upcoming day-night match against India.

“It is all about proving my fitness to the coaches but it feels a lot better and I am back batting now in the nets and doing stuff out in the field, so it is looking positive,” said Crawley.

“I was one of the first players to go out on to the field, with my spikes on, and basically my feet went out from underneath me. To protect my head I stuck my hand out and it was one of those freak incidents where my arm took all the weight. It was a real shame to do that and miss some Test cricket,” he added.

Now, with Jonny Bairstow set to replace Dan Lawrence at No 3, Crawley is in direct competition with out of form Rory Burns for a return to the team.

“I’ve batted in the top four for England so any of those positions and any chance to play again I will do whatever role is required,” Crawley said.

“If I had a preference, it would probably be 3 but I have no problems at all with opening,” he added.

Notably, against Sri Lanka, Crawley was out in all four innings to slow left-armer Lasith Embuldeniya with a top score of 13, and could take on a similar challenge next in the shape of Axar Patel, who claimed seven wickets on debut in the second Test.

However, the Kent batsman insisted, “I still back my game against spin, but it was a great learning curve for me that if I am a bit sharper and work on a few different things and do things that the best do, then there is room for improvement there. I am not going to let a few dismissals change the way I play. He is a top-quality bowler, Axar Patel, so obviously I am going to give him the respect he deserves, but for me it is not a problem in my eyes. I will keep trying to improve the way I play.”

The day-night encounter, the pivotal Test in a series locked at 1-1, christens India’s new 110,000-capacity Motera Stadium. However, covid restrictions mean it will only be half-full.


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