Gooch lauds fighting spirit of his wards

Former England skipper Graham Gooch, who is now their batting coach, said his wards had showed good fighting spirit to stay alive in the game.

“When you've been in the game as long as I have, you've seen most things that happen. We saw poor shots, poor decisions, bad mistakes, bad thinking, bad judgment, and then you sometimes see the opposite — that is what we saw today.

“It was great commitment from our guys and great fighting spirit. There was belief in their own ability,” Gooch told reporters on Sunday.

“If you get bowled out in a five-day game for less than 200 you're up against it because there is so much time left in the game. There are no demons in this pitch and it is what we expected in this part of the world. Once you get in, it becomes a little easier and you have to trust your skills.”

Kevin Pietersen had a disappointing Test, getting out for low scores against the left-arm spin of Pragyan Ojha. But Gooch defended the flamboyant batsman.

“I think Kevin will be very disappointed with both the innings. He trains very hard but like other players he has to trust his ability. There is a certain way of playing here, you've got to get yourself in and trust your defence. Once you've done that you can look at what scoring options you've got.

“He wouldn't be happy with his return in this match or with the way he played, but he is strong enough and a big enough character to carry on. I'm sure he'll put it right.”

Gooch also defended the move to leave out left-arm spinner Monty Panesar from the playing eleven. “India put 520 on the board and played very well. They are a very good side, and exceptional at playing in these conditions. We picked our team because we thought it was the best one to win the match. It is easy to be clever on hindsight, but we have to get on with it,” he added.

Indian pacer Umesh Yadav, who picked up two quick wickets to peg back England in the morning session before Alastair Cook and Matt Prior pulled things back for England, said India needed to remain patient on the final day morning.

“The wicket has become very flat. It helped the spinners earlier on but it has now become very easy to bat. There is no help for the bowlers. It would need a lot of patience tomorrow and a lot of effort to get wickets,” Yadav said.

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