Denied spinners to spar, England fly in their own
Having recharged their batteries in the five days since their series-equalling effort at Mumbai, England have also flown in an extra spinner. Somshuvra Laha reports. Jonny saysindia Updated: Dec 03, 2012 11:04 IST
Having recharged their batteries in the five days since their series-equalling effort at Mumbai, England have also flown in an extra spinner.
James Tredwell, an off-break bowler recently appointed captain of Kent, joined the squad on Saturday.
With the host associations trying to deny England quality spinners at the nets, Tredwell's inclusion is anything but cover for Monty Panesar or Graeme Swann.
Since arriving here two days ago, England had asked the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for as many local spinners as possible for the net sessions.
In England's first practice session on Sunday, CAB provided them with eight bowlers of which only one was a spinner, that too a left-armer. England already have two left-arm spinners in their squad.
Batsman Jonny Bairstow said during a media interaction that it didn't matter whether they were given adequate spinners by the local association.
"We have got our own spinners as well," said Bairstow, referring to Panesar, Swann and Samit Patel. Tredwell just added to that number, along with batsman Ian Bell, who had gone home after the first Test for the birth of his first child, a boy.
Work to do
Although England won last week, apart from Kevin Pietersen and skipper Alastair Cook, who both struck big hundreds, their batting has been rather abject.
Bairstow, who scored only nine in Mumbai before being dismissed by Pragyan Ojha, too felt England still have a long way to go.
"I don't think you can say that at all (that we have sorted out problems). We know, going out there, there will be challenges left, right and centre - whether that be spin, the conditions or reverse-swing. We know it's a massive challenge for us but we're looking forward to dealing with it in the next Test," he said.
It might not be only about spin here. Given the recent spotlight on the pitch, it was only natural for England coach Andy Flower to check it out the moment he set foot on Eden Gardens on Sunday morning. Along with Cook, he had a long chat before the net session.
Cook straightaway asked for Panesar and Stuart Broad to bowl at him.
Broad's deliveries didn't have great carry while Panesar produced good turn, but those were on a bald, flat practice pitch.
The match wicket adjacent to that wore a fresh look even though the green cover has been shaved recently.
England's focus nevertheless continues to be battling spin bowling.