England bowlers lacked variation: Moores

Peter Moores said his bowlers lacked variation in both the Tests which eventally cost them a 0-1 defeat to India in the two-match series.

updated: December 23, 2008 14:20 IST
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England coach Peter Moores said his bowlers lacked variation in both the Tests which eventally cost them a 0-1 defeat to India in the two-match series that concluded on Tuesday.

Giving full credit to India for the serise victory, Moores said the hosts were definitely the better team in both the Tests, especially during the successful run chase in the first Test in Chennai.

"All credit should go to India, they played better than us. I think in Chennai our bowlers lacked variation. From the bowling point of view we had very few options. In England, we practice long variation which is seam and swing," Moores said.

"If we look back at the series, we bowled very poorly with the new ball. We also didn't take the opportunities, and it was a fantastic run chase by India," he added.

He, however, was of the view that although scoreboard speaks differently, his bowlers had put up a much-improved show here.

"I think England bowlers bowled very well here but it's hard to say when you see India scoring 450. The pitch was trully playing well."

The English coach also admitted that his batters found it hard to step up the gear in the second innings in Chennai against Zaheer Khan and company.

"We found it hard in Chennai. When you bowl outside the off stump and hang it out there with a reversing ball, it's very hard to get on with the scoring rate and that's what they did. Zaheer Khan was very good at it.

"The intent was there to try and push the scoring but I still think 387 on board with four sessions to bowl them out was a fantastic opportunity, but we didn't take it," Moores said.

Without pointing fingers at any individual, Moores agreed the series was disappointing for a few English cricketers including Monty Panesar, Ian Bell and Steve Harmison.

"I mean everybody has good and bad series. Certainly for Monty, he found it difficult because it was a long game for a spinner.

"I think Monty struggled for rhythm. He was not part of the one-day squad and our plan to send him to Sri Lanka to get some good practice unfortunately didn't happen. But when Monty is bowling well, he has very good stock ball. Yeah, he has got work to do," he said.

He also expressed optimism that all these players will come back to form very soon.

"Bell was very disappointed but I think he is a really good young player and he is trying to surge himself to the next level. Pietersen has stepped ahead of everybody and he is trying to catch him. Strauss was also under pressure but he scored two hundreds here and today again he batted beautifully.

"Harmison too has been disappointing. He didn't bowl as he could have done in Chennai. He is still working hard and has a big role to play," said the coach.

Asked whether performance or attitude caused Harmison his place in the second Test here, Moores said Stuart Broad was selected on the basis of sheer merit.

"It was performance that cost Harmison his place. We selected Stuart because he provides us options with both bat and ball."

Moores also lauded skipper Pietersen for leading the side from the front in the emotional series that came under cloud after the terror attacks in Mumbai that killed nearly 180 people.

"Yeah, he has done really well. He showed his character. He could have easily said hang on, we are not coming back. But he showed what he is made of. He likes challenge.

"Since we have been here, we felt very secured. It's a great place to play cricket. The series is a big learner for Kevin and his men.