Not assured of an outright win in the first Test after England’s dramatic fightback, Indian pacer Umesh Yadav today said the home team’s bowlers will have to put in a lot of effort on the final day to pack off the visitors on a pitch that has become flat.
“The wicket has become very flat. It helped the spinners earlier on but it has now become very easy to bat on it. There is no help for the bowlers. We have to put in a lot of effort to get something out of it. I took my wickets after putting in a lot of effort,” said Yadav who shone with a two—wicket burst in as many balls in the middle session of play.
Yadav dismissed Ian Bell and Samit Patel, earning leg before decisions against the two batsmen, to leave England struggling at 199 for 5 chasing the follow-on-saving mark of 330 before visiting captain Alastair Cook and wicketkeeper Matt Prior did the grand recovery act.
Cook was unbeaten on 168 in a total of 340 for 5, having added 141 runs for the unbroken fifth wicket with Prior who remained not out on 84 after a stay of 203 minutes. England now lead the hosts by 10 runs with five wickets in hand.
“It would need a lot of patience tomorrow and a lot of effort to get wickets,” he said.
England coach Graham Gooch also conceded that the wicket had become very flat, and while praising the batting efforts of team captain Cook and Prior, he pointed out that India were still having the dominant hand.
“If you know your cricket, India are still in a strong position and still in a position to win. We have to take it ball by ball and not look too far ahead tomorrow. The wicket has become flat,” he said.
Praising Cook, the former England skipper recalled the left-handed opener’s century on debut at Nagpur in 2006 and said he showed on that occasion itself that he was a special talent who knew exactly how to bat on Indian pitches.
“I watched him in Nagpur when he made his debut and in that match itself he showed he knew what he should do and not do on these wickets. Today he played a major innings for England under tremendous pressure. It was very skilful.