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'Losing Tendulkar, Dravid put us on the backfoot'

Last updated on: August 11, 2011 09:31 IST

'We looked to go into lunch with a wicket down'

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Bikash Mohapatra reports from Edgbaston

India's performance on the opening day of the third Test against England at Birmingham was self-explanatory.

- Scorecard / Match Report

- Photos

There wasn't much for Duncan Fletcher to explain in the presser rather than state the obvious.

Having lost the toss, the visitors were reduced to 111 for seven following a spectacular batting collapse before a fighting 77 from skipper MS Dhoni gave the total a semblance of respectability.

The coach, thus, wasted no time in explaining the importance of the toss.

"The toss was quite important," said Fletcher.

"It was a pretty tough day thereafter. We looked to go into lunch with a wicket down," he continued.


Image: Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Reuters
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'Losing Tendulkar, Dravid before lunch put us on backfoot'

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"The two wickets England got before lunch (those of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid) really put us on the backfoot.

"It might have been a different story had we gone into the break with one down."

Having been dismissed for a measly 224, the visitors then saw the hosts pile up 84 without loss by stumps.

"It has flattened out considerably after the first hour," explained Fletcher, adding, "When the ball got old it didn't swing as much and made it difficult for our bowlers."


Image: Sachin Tendulkar edges one to James Anderson
Photographs: Getty Images
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'In trying to take wickets we conceded runs'

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"Having scored 224, the only way out was to take early wickets, and when you attack you are bound to bowl some loose balls.

"In trying to take wickets we conceded runs. It was important to take one or two wickets before the close of play, which we, unfortunately, didn't do," he lamented.


Image: India's Praveen Kumar (left) kicks the ground in frustration
Photographs: Reuters
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'We are not out of this match'

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India's coach, however, refused to concede that it is a lost cause now.  

"I honestly believe we are not out of this match," he said

"We have got some batsmen who have scored big," he elaborated, adding, "If it doesn't swing hereafter, we can score big.

"And if it does swing early on tomorrow we have got the bowlers who can utilize it."


Image: S Sreesanth
Photographs: Getty Images
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