England favourite if pink ball swings in day-night Test, says Zak Crawley

Zak Crawley feels England will have upper hand in the day-night Test against India if the pink ball swings.

England batsman Zak Crawley is hoping to return to the England XI in Ahmedabad from Wednesday.   -  AP

An "unbelievable seam attack and incredible batsmen" make India formidable but England will have the edge in the pink ball day/night Test in Ahmedabad, feels batsman Zak Crawley.

Asked if England were favourites playing against a moving ball, Crawley said, "We have grown up with those conditions, trying to play the ball late in seaming conditions, so you would say we would be more adept at it than the Indians.

"That's probably why they are unbelievable players of spin because they have grown up with it." However, the 23-year-old remains wary of India's potent bowling attack, spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma. "That said, they have an unbelievable seam attack and incredible batsmen so it won't help us too much. They will be more than capable.

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"[The pink ball] seems to be swinging more than the red ball, doing a bit more for the seamers. I expect a bit more seam in this game and for the seamers to have more of a chance than perhaps they did in the last couple of Tests.

"It also seems to be a bit harder so the spinners are skidding it on a bit more. The spinners are still going to have to play a big role and I would be surprised if they produce an absolute green seamer."

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Raring to go

The Kent batsman had missed the first two Tests after suffering a wrist injury ahead of the series opener. However, Crawley is progressing well and is in line for a return to the playing XI.

"I have improved quite a bit, doing plenty of batting in the nets, making sure I am as fit as possible for this Test and that there is a chance I can be selected," said Crawley.

"I was one of the first players to go out onto the field, with my spikes on, and 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," he recalled.

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"It was a real shame to do that and miss some Test cricket. I was trying my hardest to be back for the second Test, that was what motivated me. Unfortunately, I didn't quite do that in time but I am glad to be on the mend now and it is looking positive," he said.

Keep improving

Crawley, who opened for England in its 2-0 series win in Sri Lanka, is willing to take up the responsibility again but would prefer to bat at number three. "I would have no problem with opening again. I will do whatever role is required. If I had a preference it would probably be three but I would have no problems at all opening."

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Crawley scored only 35 runs across four innings in Galle and struggled against the left-arm spin of Lasith Embuldeniya, getting out to him four times. India has left-arm spinner Axar Patel - he took his maiden five-for in the second Test - in its rank but Crawley insisted on not making too many changes to his game.

“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.”

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