Former English pacer Steve Harmison opined that England ‘chucked Dom Bess under the bus’ the moment they asked Moeen Ali if he could stay, making the youngster feel that he was not important. Bess endured a torrid time with the ball on Day 2, and Harmison said that he felt sorry for the 23-year-old.
Dom Bess had the perfect start to the India tour, picking 4 wickets in the first innings of the first Test, but things soon went awry for him as early as the second innings, where he was taken apart by Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli. Bess dishing out full tosses for fun led to the management losing faith in him and replacing him with veteran Moeen Ali for the second Test, and while Moeen himself was inconsistent, the all-rounder did, however, pick 9 wickets and provide far more assurance than the 23-year-old.
This led to England ‘requesting’ Moeen Ali to stay back beyond his designated time - he was scheduled to fly back home after the 2nd Test - and when the 33-year-old denied, a mini-controversy broke out, with many questioning Moeen’s passion.
Bess, during this period, was forgotten amidst the mess, and former England pacer Steve Harmison believes England chucked the youngster under the bus the moment they made a huge fuss about Moeen leaving the camp. Harmison feels that this lack of trust culminated into Bess having his worst day in an England shirt on Friday.
"Dom Bess was chucked under the bus by the whole hullabaloo with Moeen Ali," Harmison told Talksport radio.
"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."
Friday was a horror day on the field for the 23-year-old off-spinner who, with England opting to go with just three specialist bowlers, found it excruciatingly difficult to land the ball on a good length on a consistent basis. Often he delivered unruly full-tosses that ended up releasing the pressure generated by the other bowlers. Former England skipper Andrew Strauss claimed that Bess’ breakdown on Day 2 was ‘painful to watch’.
"It was painful to watch if I'm honest," Strauss told Channel Four television.
"I felt slightly sorry for him at points and you just can't have that in Test cricket."