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England v India, 1st Test, Lord's, 3rd day
England's rookie attack dictates terms
July 21, 2007
The Indian batsmen failed to take the attack to the inexperienced English bowling line-up
 
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Ravi Shastri: "It was not just a case of James Anderson or Ryan Sidebottom bowling well. I thought even Chris Tremlett supported them extremely well." © Getty Images

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan: Ravi, a day when the momentum shifted again and to start off with the Indian batsmen certainly didn't do themselves too many favours.

Ravi Shastri: They certainly didn't. It was a disappointing performance and it was a bit subdued, I thought. They should have showed some flair and come hard at England, which didn't happen. They allowed the English bowlers to dictate terms and as a result they succumbed. Wickets fell at regular intervals. England chipped away right from the start and had an excellent first session of play. Like I mentioned yesterday, the first session will dictate as to who will be in the ascendancy. With England winning that session and batting on till 77-2, - leading by over 170 runs - I would put them in a strong position at the moment.

SV: The bowling was really good, the young guns doing well, there was some swing in the air as well but did you really think it was a 201 pitch?

RS: It wasn't a 201 pitch by any means. But, having said that, this is the best England bowling performance, collectively, I have seen since the Ashes. This was supposed to be a rookie attack in the sense that it did not have the experience. But they all pulled together. It was not just a case of James Anderson or Ryan Sidebottom bowling well. I thought even Chris Tremlett supported them extremely well.

SV: A bit about India's inability to take the attack to the opposition, maybe a bit more aggression with a player like MS Dhoni out there....

RS: Forget Dhoni. He was lower down the order. I thought some of the other players should have taken the attack a little more to the opposition, not allowed them to bowl the line that they were bowling. I thought they were in their shell and weren't prepared to take too many risks. As a result it allowed the England bowlers to dictate terms and they lost wickets at regular intervals there.

SV: It is a tough situation out there for India. What's the best way they can look ahead?

RS: I think they have to look back at what happened on the 2nd day's morning. If they can take eight wickets for 100 runs they still have an outside chance in this Test match, because they need to look at bowling out England for around 200 runs.

SV: Batting in the 2nd innings, do you think it will get harder or do you think the pitch will hold well?

RS: The pitch will hold but you will have to expect some uneven bounce as the game progresses. Right through this Test there has been swing and when the ball swings the pitch is not important. I don't think any wicket has fallen in this game because of the pitch - its movement in the air and bowlers bowling a good line. I think Anderson is the pick and he bowled superbly, he bowls at a lively pace. And where he was different from Sreesanth is that he bowled not very close to the stumps but from mid-way at the bowling crease, as a result he angled the ball into the right-hander and when he targeted off-stump that meant the batsman had to play and he got late swing from there.

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