Cook and Patel lead strong response
England XI 286 for 4 (Cook 112*, Patel 82*) trail India A 369 (Tiwary 93, Abhinav 73, Bresnan 3-59, Swann 3-90) by 83 runs
England's batsmen had a good day out at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, replying strongly to India A's 369 with captain Alastair Cook leading the way with a century. Jonathan Trott made a half-century and Samit Patel, promoted to bat at No.6, gave Cook good support, finishing the day unbeaten on 82.
Patel has played in two Tests, both in Sri Lanka earlier this year, and his innings added weight to his case win a recall against India. He is likely to face competition from Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan, though Patel's ability to provide support to Graeme Swann as the second spinner could give him the edge.
"There's a few more games to go yet. It's obviously great to get a start and a good score in the first game and I feel great but there's still a lot of work to do," Patel said. "I thought Cookie played brilliant, out of his skin, to bat all day is a great effort. I'm getting better at my role and the more games I play the better I'll be."
India A had done well on the opening day and their innings lasted just one delivery on the second, as R Vinay Kumar was trapped in front by James Anderson. England suffered an early blow in their response, with Nick Compton edging to the wicketkeeper off Ashok Dinda in the second over. Cook and Trott, though, built a steady stand before the part-time off-spin of Suresh Raina accounted for Trott, breaking a partnership of 95.
A left-arm spinner, once again, brought about Kevin Pietersen's downfall, as he was caught and bowled by Yuvraj Singh for a quick 23 that included three fours and a six. When Yuvraj dismissed Ian Bell for 5 in the 38th over, England were in a difficult situation at 133 for 4.
Cook continued accumulating runs and Patel gave him good support, the pair batting 49 overs till the close to add 153. England finished the day on 286 for 4, just 83 adrift.
After the close of play, Patel praised Cook's effort and said that England's plans for the tour would involve emulating the approach of their captain and keeping the opposition in the field for as long as possible. "Chef's character and work ethic are outstanding and that shows in his batting," he said. "One of our things is to grind and grind and grind and work hard as a unit and keep India in the dirt."