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December 4, 2001

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England must learn to tackle Harbhajan -Trescothick

England have to find a way to tackle Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh if the are to stay alive in the series, batsman Marcus Trescothick said on Monday.

Singh grabbed five English wickets for six runs in his final spell as the visitors folded up for 238 in their first innings after coasting at 224 for four at one stage.

"We need to find a way to tackle Harbhajan," Trescothick told reporters after the first day's play in the first Test.

"He (Singh) has got us in the position he wanted us in after the first day of the series. The most difficult part is that he takes the ball away from the right-hander with the same action with which he gets it into him."

But Trescothick was confident England would figure out a way to play Singh, nicknamed 'Turbanator' after he grabbed 32 wickets in the home series against Australia earlier this year.

Singh, 21, also became the fifth Indian bowler to grab 50 or more wickets in a calendar year when he grabbed his third wicket, trapping James Foster lbw for a duck on debut.

"We managed to play great spinners like Saqlain Mushtaq and Muttiah Muralitharan over the last season, and we're sure we'll learn to play Harbhajan better," he said.

England had beaten Pakistan and Sri Lanka at home, where conditions are similar to those in India.


Trescothick, who slammed 66 and shared in a 125-run stand for the second wicket with captain Nasser Hussain (85), said he was disappointed by the way England lost their early advantage.

"There is pressure on the top-seven to play well because the rest of the team is inexperienced, and we have to find a way to make sure this doesn't happen again," he said.

The left-handed Trescothick was aggressive in the morning session, pelting India's opening bowlers on all side of the wicket after making a hesitant start.

"There is something in the wicket in the morning for the seamers and we'll have to make sure we use the conditions well when we take the field tomorrow," he said.

Trescothick praised debutant paceman Tinu Yohannan, who grabbed a wicket in his first over dismissing opener Mark Butcher off the day's fourth ball.

"Yohannan was the most difficult bowler in the Indian side, but I was secure against the rest."

Yohannan -- one of three paceman to make their debut for India in the match along with Iqbal Siddiqui and Sanjay Bangar -- dismissed Trescothick, uprooting his off-stump with a ball that nipped in sharply when the batsman did not offer a shot.

"I started out a bit nervous but to get a wicket in my first over was a dream come true," Yohannan said.

He is the eighth Indian to get a wicket in his first over on debut.

England in India: The complete coverage

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