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December 16, 2008
Peter Moores, the England coach, has refused to blame tactics for the six-wicket defeat in the first Test against India in Chennai. England lost the game after being in the driver's seat for three days and two sessions.
"I don't think it's tactics, it's skill," Moores told Sky Sports. "To rotate spinners on a difficult surface like a Test match pitch in India takes a lot of skill. We saw that from Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood, who rotated the strike well. Where the Indians have balanced themselves well is, one, rotating the strike, but also scoring boundaries and putting bowlers under pressure. In the first innings we found that quite hard to work," he said.
Moores said he had been expecting more from the spinners, Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, who he believed were still getting used to the conditions in India. "In some ways I feel for Monty in that our preparation was compromised quite a lot," he said.
"He hasn't played competitive cricket for four months, so that was tough, and as a spinner it's hard. As the game went on he was getting back into some sort of rhythm. Swanny's played in the one-dayers, but again the longer format is hard and I think both will have learnt how skillful Indian batters are once they get in."
"I thought Freddie bowled beautifully this [Monday] morning but we'll hope Mohali has a little bit more for our seamers and I think the spinners will also enjoy a little bit of bounce to bring them into the game," he said.
|To lose after setting up a target of 387 is extremely dispiriting. It doesn't happen often but then we cannot dwell too much on that and should look to move onAndy Flower, England batting coach|
England's batting coach Andy Flower called the defeat dispiriting. "To be honest, I think we were a little defensive. I feel we could have been more attacking in our game," Flower was quoted as saying by PTI. "To lose after setting up a target of 387 is extremely dispiriting. It doesn't happen often but then we cannot dwell too much on that and should look to move on."
England managed a meagre 57 runs between lunch and tea on the fourth day, which offered the hosts a chance to get back into the match.
Flower, however, indicated that there would be no major replacements for the second Test. "We are not looking for huge changes but must look to capitalise on momentum," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
A collection of fine cricket writing on great cricket feats, and never mind the omissions
Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Johannesburg