England pacer Stuart Broad said that their bowling attack made good use of the overcast conditions after losing the toss and they now need to bat India out of the fourth Test.
India were bowled out for 152 runs on the opening day at Old Trafford and the hosts are now looking to capitalise on the visitors’ failure in the first innings.
“I was disappointed to find out that we lost the toss and then we got lucky with overhead conditions,” said Broad. “But it wasn’t just about the conditions. We bowled well and hit the right lengths with the new ball and it was swinging nicely. We challenged the Indian batsmen with right lengths and took our catches to put ourselves in a really good position.”
India were reduced to 8/4 at one stage as Broad (6-25) and James Anderson (3-46) wreaked havoc. Broad said that the England bowlers were just spot on in favourable conditions.
“It happened very quickly for us and they were all decent balls. It’s not like the Indian batsmen will be kicking themselves for playing those shots. They certainly had to play at those deliveries. I can’t remember a Test match where we knocked out a top-order like that.
“The bounce was very good and getting a leg before was very hard. So it was good bowling because we didn’t get carried away with that bounce,” said Broad.
“The big thing was that the nicks were carrying and as a bowler that is a huge advantage. The ball was swinging nicely but when the sun came out, R Ashwin and MS Dhoni showed that it was a decent wicket to bat on.
“The zip in the pitch went away to some extent so we did really well in the first hour and it was really good for us,” he added.
Dhoni and Ashwin added 66 runs for the 7th wicket and rescued India from total embarrassment. Broad was appreciative of the Indian skipper’s efforts as well as of his bowling partner’s.
“Anderson bowled very well. In conditions like this, he has the ball on a string and can move it both ways.
“Certainly, the first two wickets he took, the batsmen had to play at it and couldn’t have left the balls,” said Broad, referring to the beautiful outswingers Anderson bowled to Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli.
“The Indian batsmen didn’t get more than 5-6 balls to bat and that is the most dangerous period for any batsman. But Dhoni showed his team how he wanted them to bat on this pitch.
“He is perhaps the best batsman in the world today when batting with the tail. He has made some changes from the previous tours and comes across more now, and sometimes when the length is not there to be hit, he can take blows.
“If our batsmen bat like him, and one of them goes on to get a hundred, we will be in a fantastic position,” the all-rounder said.
Broad also confirmed that he will be shortly undergoing surgery on his trouble-some knee.
“I am going to have surgery, probably after this series. I don’t know if it will be before the ODI series or not. But it will take about three months for rehabilitation and I should be available for the 2015 ODI World Cup,” he said.