Ahmedabad: Although he is yet to pick up a bat on tour, there are few men in the England touring party who have put in more hard yards than Graham Gooch, the batting coach. When England played each of their three warm-up matches, in conditions they knew were nothing like what they could expect in the Tests, it was left to Gooch to ensure that his unit was shipshape.
For hours, Gooch worked with his wards in the practice nets, at times using a spin mat and throw downs, at others hand-picking net bowlers to help batsmen work on a specific weakness and sometimes just watching from a distance. Gooch was spotted seated just beyond the ropes during England's first innings, shaking his head in dismay at what he was witnessing. The expression changed on the fourth day when England scripted a remarkable revival through Alastair Cook and Matt Prior.
"When you've been in the game as long as I have, you've seen most things that happen," said Gooch, attempting to explain the carnage of the first innings. "We saw poor shots, poor decisions, bad mistakes, bad thinking, bad judgment and then you sometimes see the opposite which is what we saw today. It was great commitment from our guys and great fighting spirit. There was belief in their own ability and Alastair led from the front as captain."