36 wickets in 14 games at an average of 34 is not something to boast about but a decent series against Sri Lanka and the spin friendly tracks in India made Dom Bess one of England’s biggest weapons in the India-England series. He started off well by picking up 4 wickets in the first inning of the series opener but things soon turned awry for him as he was taken apart by Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli in India’s second inning.
The onslaught dented his confidence who started bowling no balls, ditching out full tosses which made the English management lose faith in the spinner. They dropped him for Moeen Ali in the second Test. Moeen bowled well and picked up 9 wickets but he was slated to fly back home after the second Test. England requested him to stay but he denied after which a mini controversy erupted with few Englishmen questioning Moeen’s passion.
Former England quick Steve Harmison believed that England were unfair to Bess when they asked Moeen Ali to stay. Harmison added that the lack of trust by England management on the spinner culminated in Bess’s horror bowling performance in the 4th Test.
“The minute they asked Moeen Ali to stay was the minute Bess was going under that bus…. That’s culminated in the day’s cricket that we’ve got today (Friday). He sat and watched for the last two or three weeks and all he can think about is Moeen Ali staying — ‘everybody’s wanting Moeen Ali’. I feel so sorry for the kid, I really do. I have so much sympathy with him, I’ve been in that place and I know where he’s at.”
Dom Bess delivered one of his worst performance in India’s first inning, giving away 71 runs in 17 overs. He struggled to pitch the ball in the right areas, often giving freebies to the Indian batsmen which released the pressure from the other end.