Samit Patel talks up England as tourists bid to battle back in India Test

Last Updated: 17/11/12 2:07pm

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Samit Patel: Believes England can hit back to earn a draw with India

Samit Patel: Believes England can hit back to earn a draw with India

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England face a long haul to salvage a stalemate in the first Test with India - but Samit Patel remains confident they can emerge unscathed.

The tourists replied badly to India's 521-8 declared, losing three wickets in as many overs to the home spinners to close day two on 41-3.

Patel will be one of those called upon to prove England's mettle - and after also bowling 31 overs on a pitch offering slow turn and low bounce, he sees no reason why the tourists cannot hit back at the Sardar Patel Stadium.

"We've got two world-class batsmen at the crease, Belly [Ian Bell] still to come, myself and Matty P [Matt Prior] - a lot of batting," said Patel.

"There's no question about how long we can bat. We've got the same potential of batting as India have - and we've got to keep believing that."

"There's no question about how long we can bat. We've got the same potential of batting as India have - and we've got to keep believing that."
Samit Patel

He expects occupation to become easier against Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha once the ball in their hands takes some wear and tear.

"The ball's harder, and I think it spins more when the ball's harder," he said. "The telling time will be when the ball gets soft; then we can get in.

"You have to earn the right to get in first, and I think Cookie [Alastair Cook] and Kev [Kevin Pietersen] in the morning have got to set their stall out and bat well.

"We've put in the hard yards; we know what we can do ... we're good players of spin. Tomorrow, we hope we can show what we're made out of."

Patel acknowledges it will not be easy. "We're going to have to play some good cricket. It's hard work - but that's Test cricket. We've got to stand up and be counted. It's no place for hiding."

England have endured a chastening two days concluding with cricket's classic double-punch - late wickets lost by a team tired physically and mentally after long exertions in the field.

"Sometimes you have to give credit to the (opposition) batsmen," Patel added.

"Sehwag played outstandingly well yesterday; Pujara carried on today, and Yuvraj (Singh) played as he does. They're good players of spin.

"As the Indians showed, if you bat a long time, you can wear teams down. That's what they did.

"It's something we expected. You lose the toss, and field for two days ... we knew what was coming, what was going to happen - and we're prepared.

"That's cricket, but we've got some quality batsmen still in the shed to come in, guys that can go out and score big hundreds."

Patel for one will not rely on passive resistance when his turn comes to bat, saying: "You've got to survive the tough periods, and get teams where you want them.

"You can do that by hitting boundaries, or ones - it doesn't matter. I don't think you can be defensive playing out here. You need to let the bowler know that you're still there, not just surviving.

"If you take the example of Kev tonight, first ball he went down the wicket and hit one to mid-on and ran."

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