England have the edge but India not out: Kirsten

England may have got the upperhand but India coach Gary Kirsten on Saturday said the hosts were not out of the first Test yet.

updated: December 13, 2008 13:35 IST
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England may have got the upperhand but India coach Gary Kirsten on Saturday said the hosts were not out of the first cricket Test yet, insisting that his wards would raise their game in the next two days.

England ended day three at 172 for three, which has given them a 247-run lead seven second innings wickets still intact.

Kirsten, however, asserted that his wards have it in them to turn things around in the next two days.

"This team is capable of doing anything. We believe that players in this team are capable of coming up with special stuff on the cricket field. We are not going to wake up tomorrow thinking that we have lost," Kirsten said after the day's play.

"It's still a long way to go in this Test match and England have played very well to get themselves into the position they are in. But still 180 overs to go," he added.

Kirsten also brushed aside suggestions that Team India was not well-prepared for the Test and perhaps took the Englishmen, whom it drubbed 5-0 in the ODI series, lightly.

"Absolutely not. We have prepared well for the Test. Strauss has batted exceptionally well in this Test. He understood the conditions and the bowlers. We certainly had some plans for him but he made sure what he really needed to do and played well," he said.

"We did everything we could. England have played good cricket. I though M S (Dhoni) captained the side really well today in terms of what he tried to do. We were faced with a team that played better than us today," Kirsten explained.

Kirsten felt the pitch was turning out to be difficult for the batsmen and said patience was the key for big knocks on such tracks.

"There is no doubt that if you land the ball in certain areas it is going to do something. That's what we have seen. But we have also seen people can bat on it. If you play yourselves in and spend time at the crease without too many balls jumping around making it unpleasant for you.

"There will be little bit of reverse swing. We are confident that if we apply ourselves we can also bat on this wicket as England proved today. We did'nt bat like we wanted to bat. But with bowling we have done well. We made some errors. Sachin and VVS put on 60 runs had it been 120 things would have been different," he said.

The coach also played down Dhoni's injury and said the problem was manageable.

"Ankle and hand. But he is a tough man, there is nothing serious, he will be ready to play tomorrow," he said.