ANI Photo | “Not looking at any particular target to chase”: Paras Mhambrey after England clawback on Day 3

India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey focused on gaining early wickets on Day 4 to minimise England’s total, rather than fretting about the chase goal in the fourth innings of the first Test in Hyderabad.
Ollie Pope’s counter-attacking century and a 112-run stand with Ben Foakes helped England claw back after Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin’s tremendous spells left visitors frustrated on the third day of the ongoing first Test match here at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Saturday.
After leaving a 190-run lead in the first innings, England recovered to lead by 126 runs in the second, scoring 316 for six courtesy of Ollie Pope’s counter-attacking century, which brought back the visitors in the Test.
“We are not looking at any particular target (to chase) as I said the objective is to come tomorrow morning and get early wickets and limit their total. We are not putting any pressure on ourselves by setting any targets. We just want to bowl in the right areas to extract turn and bounce from the wicket,” Mhambrey said in his post-day press conference.
Mhambrey’s confidence stemmed from the fact that the pitch’s turn is easier to nullify because it isn’t sharp.
“If you look at the way the game has progressed over the last few days from the first session, the amount of turn the ball has taken, I think it got better in the second innings. I think it is going to get a bit better on the slower side (tomorrow). There will be some turn but it is not the usual turn you see in the Indian sub-continental wickets, the sharp turn when the game progresses. There is a little turn but not as challenging,” he said.
The former India pacer also stated that England hitters, notably Pope, were bold in facing Indian spinners at the right moment. Mhambrey, India’s bowling coach, praised England’s bravery, saying that the only way to deal with such unconventional strokeplay is to keep your position and hope for the edge.
“It does happen. If a batsman starts to access different areas, it’s always going to be a challenge. Someone like Pope who played, he accessed the square, fine leg area as well and the sweep and the reverse sweep and he played it consistently. Credit must go to him. They really played well, took on the attack at the stage where it was needed and sometimes that happens. Someone who plays some shots like these consistently does get the bowlers under pressure in terms of variation in the lines. Credit goes to him,” Mhambrey said.
“But as I said, we still have to be patient with the lines, still hit the right areas and hope to get a wicket. Hope to get an edge or something or the other. That can happen. But I think the credit goes to him the way he played,” he added.
The coach added that Indian bowlers were aware of England hitters’ ‘Bazball’ techniques and were prepared to confront them.
“We knew prior to the series the way England played over the last couple of years and the kind of approach they had to Test cricket. We were expecting them to come here with that aggression and play those kinds of shots. But credit goes to them for playing those shots and some of the shots Pope played were very brave, and playing those shots consistently can put the opposition under pressure,” Mhambrey said.
At the time of Stumps, England’s score read 316/6 – lead by 126-run- with Ollie Pope (148) and Rehan Ahmed (16) unbeaten at the crease. (ANI)

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