We are preparing ourselves for an Indian fightback: Collingwood

London, Aug 31 (PTI): England assistant coach Paul Collingwood feels India’s batsmen are coping too much criticism for their failure in the third Test at Leeds and his team is bracing up for a strong fightback from the visitors in the fourth game starting here on Thursday.
India lost the match by an innings and 76 runs last week, leaving the five-match series level at 1-1.
“I thought we bowled tremendously well. It is easy to criticise the Indian batsmen when you are an Indian supporter but there was a lot of movement on the pitch on the first day,” Colingwood said at a virtual media interaction with select Indian journalists.
“…it was kind of conditions with a bit of moisture in the pitch and it was tricky for the batsman, the way we bowled against them. Virat (Kohli) said in his post-match conference, the accuracy and relentness of our bowlers was something that they struggled against and accuracy I thought was fantastic,” he added. England made a stunning comeback in that game after being thrashed in the second Test at Lord’s by 151 runs. “Can they (India) bounce back? I am sure we are certainly preparing ourselves for an Indian bounce back. We know that they are a high-quality team and we have always prepared ourselves that they are going to be 100 percent ready for the next battle in new set conditions at the Oval,” added the 45-year-old. According to Collingwood, who played 68 Tests, saying that this Indian team is like the Australians when it comes to on-field aggression is a “bit harsh”.
“…both sides, they don’t want to give an inch. When you have two countries where cricket means a lot to them, a set of players for whom winning means a lot, then you do have heated exchanges.
“It was a great game to watch and we were on the wrong end of the result, but the level of intensity that we got from the game, the performance level we got from the game were right up there with anything you would see,” he explained.
“And both teams were head to head with each other…I think the Australians, their behaviour and the way they play their game of cricket is changed over the years.
“So to say that they are like the Australians is probably a little bit harsh,” added Collingwood, who has 4,259 runs, when asked whether the Indian team led by Kohli was playing the same brand of cricket that resonated with the Australian cricket team.
Collingwood also said that his side’s performance at Headingley was incredible.
“You rightly say that Lord’s was a difficult defeat, and really what we needed to do was calm the emotions down and we brought Dawid (Malan), Haseeb (Hamid) to the side, so it was refocusing on the job on hand.
“The performance at Headingley was incredible considering what happened at Lord’s,” he added.
He also had words of praise for skipper Joe Root, who is in form of his life, having struck three hundreds in the first three Tests of the series.

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