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England need miracle to save Test on Chennai ‘beach’

Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh has called the surface “unacceptable” and former England captain Michael Vaughan described it as a “beach”.

England assistant coach Graham Thorpe declined to comment on the suitability of the pitch at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium but conceded his team would need a miracle to save the second Test against India on the spin-friendly surface.

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Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin helped bowl out England for 134 on a pitch offering turn from day one and the ball kicked up dust after landing.

“It’s incredibly challenging on that surface for us on day two,” Thorpe told a video conference.

“They have a skilled spin attack on their own conditions and it was a very good toss to win. There are some balls in the pitch that you might not be able to do too much about.”

Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh has called the surface “unacceptable” and former England captain Michael Vaughan described it as a “beach”.

“In terms of commenting on the suitability of the pitch for a Test, that’s for someone above me to say,” former England batsman Thorpe said.

“It has obviously taken turn early in the game.”

England need “something very, very special” on Monday to maintain their 1-0 lead in the four-Test series, Thorpe said.

He acknowledged his side would need a special effort to deny India victory.

“We need something very, very special to happen tomorrow and somebody do something amazing with the bat,” Thorpe said.

“We knew we were going to have some tough times and the important thing is the dressing-room doesn’t get too affected by today.”

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