Chennai, Feb 14 (IANS) England assistant coach Graham Thorpe said that India had the upper hand by winning the toss and having bowlers who could exploit the conditions better during the second Test. Thorpe said that the pitch at the M.A.Chidambaram Stadium, which has drawn polarised reactions from former players and pundits, is an “incredibly challenging surface”.
“It is a very challenging surface that is what I am going to say. In terms of me commenting on the pitch I think that is for someone above me to look at,” said Thorpe in a virtual interaction with the media after the second day’s play.
England were bowled out for 134 in reply to India’s 329 and the hosts ended the day with a lead of 249 runs.
“It was incredibly challenging on that surface for us on Day two. Theirs is obviously a very skilled spin attack as well on their own conditions. And it was a very good toss to win,” Thorpe said.
“There are some balls in the pitch which you may not be able to do much about we talked about having a plan — the areas we can attack and how we can defend. So the guys have plans but they didn’t happen today for us. There were some good deliveries in there. Some unfortunate dismissals as well, some good catches from India too, we didn’t get the partnerships going,” said Thorpe.
Thorpe praised wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes for his performance during England’s innings. Foakes was unbeaten on 42 in England’s innings.
“I thought Ben Foakes played very well. The ball got a little bit softer. We lost early wickets in the piece and that really set us back today,” he added.
“We have some players in our team who are touring this part of the world for the first time against a very very strong Indian side. Just as last week when we won the first Test here we know we have to stand up, keep learning as well, that’s the most important thing,” said Thorpe.