Having seen England collapse to 161 all-out despite a very fine beginning of 54/0, wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler has said that the home team threw away an excellent start and should've done way lot better than they did eventually.
With Ishant Sharma's very fine spell after lunch and Hardik Pandya's magnificent use of the conditions to get his maiden five wicket-haul, India got themselves back into the game and possibly the series on Day 2 by taking the lead of 168 runs. They stretched it to 292 by the end of the day's play and with still 8 wickets in hand.
“It’s very disappointing – after a really good start to the day as well, picking up those early wickets and being 50 for none. We let that slip. It’s important we can recognise why it’s happened, and improve,” said Buttler, “It’s been tough for the batsmen (at times) throughout this series. When we’ve got that momentum, when we’ve been bowling, it felt like we were going to take a wicket every ball."
He further added, “It comes down to how can you wrestle back the initiative – maybe with a counter-attacking style or someone trying to sit in and be a bit of a limpet for an hour and ride that session out. But obviously we weren’t good enough to do that today,”
While it looks unimaginable right now, Buttler has urged the batsmen to not give up and come out firing in the fourth innings to make a match out of it.
“It comes down to the guys working hard, being disciplined, practice, all of the above. It’s hard, it’s not easy – it’s not meant to be easy. Test cricket tests individuals and teams in tough ways. It takes a lot of character for us to come back from tough situations like this." wanting the home side to learn from their mistakes, Buttler added, “Guys have got to improve. We know that as a side – to get to where we want to go, we need to eradicate these collapses. The key is trying not to make the same mistakes. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again, whether that’s as an individual or as a team."
“We know in England conditions can be tough – favourable for swing bowling. Credit to India, I thought they bowled really well and got the ball moving around, and we weren’t good enough to deal with that today.”
Buttler also cleared that despite the series lead of 2-0 coming into this game, England weren't taking Virat Kohli's men lightly at all.
He said, “India were ever going to go anywhere. They’re the number one ranked side in the world and they’re there for a reason. It was always going to be a competitive series. Just because they were 2-0 down I don’t think we could have taken anything lightly. We probably didn’t quite hit our straps as well as we would have liked the first morning with the ball as well."
Buttler also thinks, in hindsight, bowling first was not such a good idea at the start.
“Winning the toss brings pressure to take wickets and we didn’t quite execute as well as we would have liked" he added, "I think it’s always going to be a competitive series against the number one team in the world so they were always going to come back strongly,”
“It looks like, when one side has that momentum, it seems hard to wrestle back. It’s hard for sides to get back into games. Yes, of course otherwise there’s no point turning up. I think any professional sportsman takes pride in playing for their country and we’ll turn up tomorrow and we’ll be fighting hard,” and concluded.
(Inputs from PTI)