'In with a shout'
But batsmen must now 'walk the walk', says Ian
Last Updated: March 27, 2012 5:03pm
Fight back: Swann celebrates another wicket
Sir Ian Botham says England's bowlers have dragged their team "back into contention" to win the opening Test against Sri Lanka.
Andrew Strauss' charges were dismissed for 193 on the second day at Galle as they struggled to respond to the hosts' first-innings tally of 318.
However, an excellent spell of spin from Graeme Swann (4-28 off 12 overs) helped England reduce Sri Lanka to 84-5 at stumps, leaving the tourists 209 runs in arrears.
"The only way you can put that confidence back into yourself is to go out and do it."
Beefy Quotes of the week
And Beefy told Sky Sports News HD that if the Three Lions' attack can skittle Mahela Jayawardene's men out quickly on day three, they could yet pull off a victory.
"I think the bowlers have been exceptional throughout the winter and they have given England a chance of getting back into the game with their performance in the last session," he said.
"England looked dead and buried when they were bowled out but they've got themselves back into contention. If they can keep (their final innings target) to 260-70 they have got a real chance - if the batsmen turn up."
England's batting travails from the series with Pakistan continued at the Galle International Stadium, with only Ian Bell (52) and some late-order hitting from Stuart Broad, Swann, James Anderson and Monty Panesar posing the Sri Lankan bowlers problems.
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But Botham says it is time for the visitors' stroke-makers to reassert their authority and fire their team to a maiden Test triumph of 2012.
"The only way you can put that confidence back into yourself is to go out and do it," added Beefy. "You can talk the talk and do all the nets you want, but eventually you've got to walk the walk.
"The way England have been batting you'd rather be in the Sri Lankan camp with the runs on the board, but England do have a bit of resilience.
"There are players who are due runs in the Test arena and it might all come together tomorrow."
Click here for Mark Butcher and Bob Willis' thoughts on day two.