'It's a big effort to beat the Indians'

Samit Patel, the burly England all-rounder, made a telling difference to the outcome of the first one-dayer that the visitors won by a narrow nine-run margin in Rajkot. His 20-ball 44, on hindsight, towards the end turned out to be India’s undoing.

After a lengthy practice session in the hot and humid conditions here on Sunday ahead of Tuesday’s second ODI, Patel spoke to the media.

Excerpts.

On his knock in the first ODI:  It’s always good to get a good knock, especially when the team’s winning. Good to contribute to a winning team. To win the first ODI in Rajkot, it’s fantastic. Certainly, we lost the first two warm-up games but what a great win (in the ODI), what a great start.

On the boost from the win after two previous series losses: To play India in 2008, that was quite demoralising. We got good scores and they knocked them off, and they got good scores and we didn’t get anywhere near them. It shows you how good this England team is right now. We played ten ODIs (in India) and lost all ten. But it’s just great to get a win. And people sometimes don’t realise how much of an effort it is to beat these guys out here.

On why is it so difficult for England in India in one-day cricket: They’re good players in their own backyards, and they play good one-day cricket around the world. They dominate cricket, they dominate spinners. They dominate cricket in general, they have a good formula on how to play cricket, and their spinners come into play. But, I think the way we learned how to play their spinners is outstanding, credit to us as a team.
Because in the past tours we struggled, but it just shows that if you put in the hard yards, you learn and you get rewards.

On confidence after win in Tests:  It’s kind of a snowball effect, really. The Test series win was outstanding, took a lot of courage, desire and hard work.  I think we can achieve it (win ODI series) if we stay calm and level-headed and take each game as it comes.

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