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England hit the straps

Kolkata, Dec 2, 2012, PTI:

They dealt with spin quite well in the series-levelling win in the second Test but the visiting England cricket team’s batsmen continued to practice against tweakers ahead of the third Test against India starting here on December 5.

Two local club spinners — one left-arm orthodox and another leg-spinner — along with Monty Panesar bowled at the nets in tandem.

Monty, particularly, bowled his heart out as the English cricketers tried to master orthodox spin.

Earlier, the English cricketers came in two batches with Kevin Pietersen arriving in the afternoon. Skipper Alastair Cook was seen deeply involved in a discussion with bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed.

The in-form Cook, who has two centuries from two Tests, was negotiating the throw-downs from the former Pakistani leg-spinner and later the duo engaged themselves in discussion, while the remaining English players practised in the two practice nets.

Batsman Jonny Bairstow later acknowledged that the team still has challenges left to deal with despite dominating the Indian spin trio of Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin in the Wa­nkhede Test.

“It’s still going to be tough. There will always be challenges left in the spin department. With the weather conditions and with the reverse swing, it would be a massive challenge for us. But we will be looking forward to dealing with that in the next Test,” Bairstow said.
As they practised in tandem, a few yards away, the wicket lay covered.

“Honestly, we did not have a look at it. That’s not something we do normally before the match. I’m sure the Indians have had a detailed look and take the right decision,” he said.


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