Surrounded, not surrendered
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England might have conceded a mountain of runs with the ball and already lost two wickets, but Samit Patel said he was still confident that the likes of skipper Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell have the ability to hit big hundreds and do enough to save the Test in the three days left.
"We have two world class batsmen at the crease," he said. " Ian Bell is still to come, there's me and there is Matt Prior. There is a lot of batting. There's no question about how long we can bat. We've got the same potential of batting as India have and we've got to keep believing that. I think the telling time will be when the ball gets soft; then we can get in."
When asked whether the track, that kept low and seemed to throw up a puff of dust on occasion, would prevent batsmen from having a say in the Test, Patel said: "That happens, that's cricket. Both of them (Cook and Pieternsen) have the ability to go and get big hundreds."
England will, of course, benefit from a long-ish batting line up, which also includes Patel, selected as much for his batting as for his left arm spin. "We've put in the hard yards; we know what we can do. Tomorrow, we hope we can show what we're made of. We're going to have to play some good cricket. It's hard work - but that's Test cricket. We have to front up. We can't go anywhere. We've got to stand up and be counted. It's no place for hiding."
Patel also said that when the ball becomes soft, the Indian spinners too would struggle a bit. "I think the ball is hard (right now). It spins when it is harder. When it gets soft, we can get in. Cookie and KP should bat long," he said.