England captain Alastair Cook misread the pitch in Mohali and was left to rue going into the third Test against India with three spinners, he said on Tuesday.
The dry look of the surface at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium prompted England to pick three slow bowlers and the move failed as India won the match by eight wickets to move 2-0 ahead in the series.
“I think all of us probably misread this pitch,” Cook told reporters.
“If we’d known what we know now, we would’ve probably gone with four seamers and two spinners, because the seamers are always in the game.”
Experienced off-spinner Gareth Batty endured a forgettable game, going wicketless and never really troubling the India batsmen.
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“I looked at that wicket along with a number of people before the game that we thought is dry. We all thought it’s going to spin a lot more,” Cook said.
“So in hindsight we’d have played four and two but I am quite happy with my decision because I thought it’s the right one at that time.”
England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the only bowler to claim five wickets in an innings while leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed five victims in the match.
In the Test at the same venue last year, the Indian spinners claimed 19 of the 20 wickets to beat South Africa inside three days.
“Sometimes you like to see what four-and-two does but I thought it would have been a bit gamble on this wicket if it would have been turning, like it did in Bangladesh where we played three-and-three when it was turning a lot,” Cook said.
The England players will now head to Dubai for a break before the team management decide on the side for the fourth Test in Mumbai starting on Dec. 8.