England shouldn’t be scared of chasing high India total, says Paul Collingwood

  • Thread starter Simon Burnton at the Kia Oval
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Simon Burnton at the Kia Oval

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  • ‘The conditions look good for batting,’ insists assistant coach
  • Collingwood says more confidence is key after dropped catches

In a series characterised by wildly swinging fortunes England were left clinging to the possibility of one more sudden shift after a difficult day at the Oval in which Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara put together a potentially decisive partnership of 153 and by stumps India were on 270-3 and luxuriating in a lead of 171. “We’ve seen throughout this Test series that momentum’s shifted very quickly and if we can get movement on this ball tomorrow we know we’ve got the bowlers to exploit the conditions and put them under a lot of pressure,” said Paul Collingwood, England’s assistant coach. “Hopefully we can get it swinging and bowl them out as cheaply as possible. But the conditions look really good out there for batting so we shouldn’t be scared of whatever total they get.”

The conditions certainly suited Sharma, whose 127 was his first Test century on foreign soil, albeit a ninth in England in all formats, and he now averages 58.48 in 16 matches since his move to opener at the end of 2019. “Overseas hundreds were never in my mind, what I was focusing on was the process,” he said the India batter. “I know the runs will come if I follow the process. Sometimes things don’t come easy, you need to put in those hard yards, and I’m pretty happy today with the way things turned out. Not just for me but for the whole group – we’re in a good position but we understand that game is not over until it’s over.”

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