India cricket coach Duncan Fletcher admitted that his batsmen are struggling to adapt to the swing and seam.
Fletcher, who was a former England coach, says he had not seen the English pitches swing and seam so much as they have in the ongoing series.
“Our guys are finding it difficult at the moment to handle the swing and seam,” he said. “They’ve practised, and there’s not much more they can do.
“I’ve not seen three pitches… that have swung and seamed around as much as these have in three Tests. Even when I was with England, I haven’t seen the ball swing around so much for three Tests in a row. Probably today was the only day when the swing has got less as the day has progressed. In every other match the ball has swung all day.”
Fletcher defended the Indians’ inability to adapt to English condition.
“How can you practice against swing bowling in India when there is no swing bowling? It is a matter of trying to adapt as quickly as you can. England hunt in a pack and they have a lot of intensity about them, but it has been made easier for them by the swinging conditions that really suit this pace attack. If it flattens out and doesn’t swing, I still believe we are in this match,” he said.
Tim Bresnan, who claimed four wickets on the day, had a different opinion about the pitch.
“It [The pitch] didn’t really do that much. The pitch is playing all right, so hopefully we can get stuck in and get a lead. We were expecting it to be a bit quicker and seam a bit more – so it’s a good effort,” he believed.
“As a seamer you look at the wicket and think ‘I’d prefer to bowl on there than watch someone bat on it.”
“It swung a bit, but not like Trent Bridge did. So it was a case of building pressure. It’s a great day’s Test cricket for us.”
“The bottom line is you’ve got to bowl well to bowl out this batting line-up […] But we’ve got our plans right, and delivered what we said we were going to do – and at this moment in time, those plans are working.”