India v England: Michael Vaughan says tourists 'batted like rabbits in headlights'

England's Ben Foakes is bowled by Axar Patel
England, having been 74-2, lost their last eight wickets for 38 runs

England's batsmen played "like rabbits in headlights" on the first day of the third Test against India in Ahmedabad, says former captain Michael Vaughan.

The tourists were bowled out for only 112 in 48.4 overs before India reached 99-3.

Opener Zak made a fluent 53 for England but six batsmen fell in single figures as nine of the 10 wickets fell to spin.

"They didn't know how to play or rotate the strike," Vaughan said on The Cricket Social.

"India know that this England side, against this spinning ball, don't have skilful players who know how to play it."

Captain Joe Root's 17 was the next highest score for England, with left-arm spinner Axar Patel taking 6-38 and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin 3-26.

"The England players don't seem to be improving and that is a concern," Vaughan said.

"A lot of the batsmen have been in the sub-continental conditions for a number of weeks now and would have been facing lots of spin."

'England's averages must improve before Ashes'

Vaughan says England's top six must improve before the Ashes tour to Australia later this year, with only Root averaging above 40 in Test cricket.

"Joe Root is very near to averaging 50 but then the other batsmen are in the 30s," he said.

"Dom Sibley has had one good score of 87 on a flat surface in the first Test, Ollie Pope is a young promising player yet only averages 33 in 15 Tests, and Ben Stokes doesn't look like he's got his set-up right to face Ashwin or Patel.

"If you think you're going to win in Australia by one player having a stormer then that's very risky."

Jonny Bairstow, who was rested for the first two Tests of the four-match series, fell for a duck on his return to the side.

"I don't understand the philosophy of taking players out of the team to fly home and then to come back and expect them to perform," Vaughan said.

'This is nowhere near over'

Kent batsman Crawley, playing his 11th Test, has scored four fifties and one century since making his debut in 2019.

He missed the opening matches of the series after spraining a wrist in a "freak accident" outside the dressing room before the first Test.

Despite a one-sided first day in Ahmedabad, he says the third Test "is nowhere near over" and is confident England's bowlers can bounce back on Thursday.

"There is absolutely a way back," the 23-year-old said.

"We could bowl them out for late 100s or early 200s and then if we can get any sort of lead from there then we got a chance in the fourth innings."

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