'Batsmen struggling with swing, seam'
Birmingham, Aug 11: England continued their relentless pursuit of the No. 1 position in Tests as they ripped apart the Indian batting line-up on the first day of the third Test at Edgbaston.
Put in to bat, India were all out for 224 runs while England scored 84 runs without losing a wicket at stumps on Day 1.
At the end of day’s play, India’s coach Duncan Fletcher and England pacer Tim Bresnan spoke about the day’s proceedings in a media interaction.
Coming to grips with another Indian batting failure, coach Fletcher said, "Our guys are finding it difficult at the moment to handle the swing and seam," he said. "They've practiced, and there's not much more they can do”.
"It was pretty tough," Fletcher reasoned as he spoke about the batting conditions.
"Unfortunately that toss was pretty important. Those two wickets that England got just before lunch really put us on the back foot. It's been pretty difficult for the batsmen to adapt," he added.
"I've not seen three pitches [...] that have swung and seamed around as much as these have in three Tests," he remarked.
But Bresnan, who claimed four wickets on the day, had a different opinion about the pitch. "[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'," he continued. "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.”
What, to his mind, was the secret behind England’s superb showing against the No. 1 ranked Test side this series? "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,” he explained.
Bresnan’s fellow seamers Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson contributed to India’s first innings collapse with four and two wickets respectively. Speaking about the team-effort, Bresnan said, “There's definitely that 'hunting-in-a-pack' mentality, and we do enjoy each other's success. It's good to watch your mate get four or five-for, or have a really good day with the bat."