Notwithstanding Indian top order’s pathetic show once again after the bowlers did a decent job to restrict England to 330, leg spinner Piyush Chawla said the hosts can still make a comeback in the fourth Test if Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni manage to put on a good session on Saturday.
“We lost a few quick wickets but we still have two quality batsmen at the crease and they are having a good partnership (Virat Kohli and M.S. Dhoni) and seeing the ball really well. Let’s hope for the best because the way these guys are middling the ball we could have a good session on Saturday,” said Chawla after the second day’s play in Nagpur.
India, in reply to England’s 330 in the first innings, were tottering at 87 for four with the fiery England fast bowler James Anderson having grabbed three quick wickets for 24 runs at the VCA Stadium.
Virat Kohli (11) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (8) were at the crease, even as the home team were still trailing England by 243 runs.
“The morning session will be important. If we manage to play around 30-45 minutes without losing a wicket then we will be in a good position,” insisted Chawla.
The bowler dismissed suggestions that the poor form of the Indian batsmen was affecting the bowlers, saying on every occasion the team has put up scores in excess of 300 in the four-Test series, in which the hosts are 1-2 down.
“This is a phase that happens. It is not that our batting has flopped big time as we have managed to get around 300-350 in every match. It has not affected the bowlers. As a bowling unit we have done well,” he said.
The 23-year-old Chawla, who took a career-best 4 for 69 in his third Test, said he was under some pressure after being recalled to the Test side after a gap of four years.
“There is always pressure whenever you play but there was little bit more pressure this time because I was making a comeback to the Indian team after a long wait of four years.
But the way it has started I think it has been good,” he said.
Asked about his poor run in the Ranji Trophy despite which he was recalled as replacement for senior bowler Harbhajan Singh, Chawla said, “If you consider the type of wickets on which we played the Ranji Trophy matches this season I would say I did well.
“We were playing mostly on seaming tracks so I would say my performance was good in that sense.”
After resuming on 199 for five, England lost their remaining five wickets, while India lost their top order, but Chawla insisted that the pitch, which is low and slow, had played better today.
“I think the wicket was playing a little better on Friday, it was coming on to the bat when we were bowling in the morning. Let’s see how it plays in the next three days, may be tomorrow onwards it will start turning a bit more.
“We thought if we get one wicket to start with in the morning we can stop them somewhere under the 300-run mark but Joe Root and Matt Prior batted really well. But when we broke that partnership we recovered really well,” said Chawla.