Paul Collingwood: Seamers stuck to their task, but credit to Rohit & Co. for batting well

IND vs ENG: It was surprising not to be able to extract some swing from the Dukes ball on Day Three at the Oval, says England's assistant coach Paul Collingwood.

Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara laid the foundation for a strong Indian total in the second innings.   -  AFP

England's seamers tried everything to extract some swing from the Dukes ball but failed, assistant coach Paul Collingwood said at a press conference as he reflected on what was a tough day in the office for his side. 

India batted all day and lost just three wickets to secure a lead of 171 runs by stumps on Day Three at the Oval. Rohit Sharma scored a patient 127 for his first overseas Test century and in the company of Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored a busy 61, laid the foundation for a strong Indian total in the second innings.

Collingwood felt his bowlers were quite disciplined during the day and was surprised at the lack of swing with the Dukes ball. 

"I thought we were very disciplined. Obviously, we've got accurate bowlers in our ranks; we stuck to our task all day," Collingwood said, addressing reporters.


"I think the one thing that was surprising was the lack of swing with the Dukes ball today [on Saturday]. We all know once we get movement in the air, with the wicket with good carry, we could cause the Indian batsmen some trouble which we have done in the series so far. It was quite surprising that we didn't get the swing; we tried everything with it - like changing the shiny side - but we couldn't get the movement off of it," he said. 

India's top-order batsmen batted well, admitted Collingwood. 

"I thought we asked questions all day. The Indian batsmen, sometimes, you've got to give them a lot of credit. [K. L.] Rahul and [Rohit] Sharma at the top of the order played beautifully. We all know Test cricket can be tough at times; it was one of those days that we stuck to it, and you got to wait for that breakthrough which we got with the new ball," he said. 

Collingwood appreciated Rohit's innings, observing that he had curbed his attacking instincts to excel in England. 

"He's got a different technique, and he's played really well so far in the series. What we've found in the past is that he's quite an attacking batsman, but he seems to have reigned himself in during the series and been very watchful. It was hard to create any chances against him today. You're not getting a lot of movement from the balls. You've got to give him a lot of credit," he said.

ENG vs IND, 4th Test, Day 3: India ahead by 171 after Rohit Sharma's classy ton  

Dropped catches 

Rohit was dropped twice in the innings in the slips by Rory Burns. Today's drop was England's sixth in the slips this series. 

Collingwood said he couldn't be too harsh on Burns as both were tough chances.  

"It's certainly been an area that we're trying to improve as a group. Saw some stats today that the Oval is one of the harder grounds to take chances, and I would put that down to the view. There does seem to be a difficult place to view the ball when it comes off the bat. Hopefully, we can take our chances tomorrow [on Sunday]. 

"We're catching a lot of balls in practice, a lot of hard work goes into it, and the guys have just got to make sure that they're confident when they go out to field in the middle. You're always scrutinised, I guess; every ball is important, and every chance is important. The guys won't shy away from it, they want to be in it, and taking the chances. 

"I thought Rory's today was a really good effort. The way that he propelled himself towards the ball. It's just unfortunate. The one yesterday, while he didn't see it, it's pretty hard to catch it even if you see it," Collingwood said. 

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