Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 1 (ANI): Jeetan Patel, who has been appointed as England’s permanent Elite Spin Bowling Coach, said he is expecting the team to “punch back pretty hard” in the fourth Test against India.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India had registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday to go 2-1 up in the four-match series.
“They (Axar and Ashwin) have been fantastic in the second and third Test, and it is now for us to combat that in the fourth Test. The conversation today was not to go away from being positive and look to score. One thing that the England side has done well recently is face the adversity and punched against it. So, I expect all of us to punch back pretty hard,” Patel said during a virtual press conference on Monday.
The pink-ball Test saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine. But critics have looked to blame the pitch for the failure of the batsmen. After the match, Rohit Sharma had clarified that he did not think the pitch had any demons. Even India skipper Virat Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams.
Reflecting on the pitch, Patel said although they were expecting a spinning surface, they did not expect it to spin as early as it did.
“It is India, we expect to get on spinning surfaces. Maybe, we did not expect it to spin as early as it did… It was a tough pitch to play on and we got on the wrong side of it,” he said.
He added that England players will just have to tweak their batting a bit and make sure they put a decent total on the board if they win the toss.
“I think we just need to tweak a bit and be a bit smart about how we about it. The pink ball had so many unknowns. And how it reacted was certainly unknown for us. This is a learning part of playing in Asia. You are never quite sure how things are going to play out. We are going to have to find ways to make sure we put a decent total, if we win the toss,” Patel said.
If India manages to win or draw the final Test against England, then the side will qualify for the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC) and they will take on New Zealand in the summit clash. (ANI)

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