MUMBAI (Reuters) - England batsman Jos Buttler has called on the team’s bowlers to be more disciplined in their line and length to put pressure on India’s batting in the fourth test at the Wankhede Stadium.
The hard-hitting batsman scored 76 on Friday to guide England, who trail 2-0 in the five-match series, to a strong first innings total of 400 after the touring side had won the toss and opted to bat.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali dismissed Lokesh Rahul cheaply but England were then pegged back by an unbroken second wicket partnership of 107 between Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara as India reached 146 for one at stumps.
England lead by 254 but Buttler says they need to show more control with the ball on a pitch which is still good for batting.
”The two guys played very well for India but it’s still a lead of 250,“ Buttler told reporters. ”As you see in this part of the world the game can accelerate and the ball has been spinning.
“We can be a bit better, we can be a bit more consistent and when we build that pressure there’s definitely wicket-taking balls in that surface.”
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up six wickets in England’s first innings while his left-arm spin colleague Ravindra Jadeja took the remaining four.
But Vijay and Pujara were hardly troubled by England’s bowlers, who were guilty of bowling too many loose deliveries.
“For periods we bowled tight and put pressure on the Indian batsmen but they played some good shots,” Buttler said.
“When we get home tonight we will think we need to be a bit more consistent and land the ball a bit more consistently. When we get a string of dot balls it seems to be when things happen.”
The 26-year-old Buttler, who has hit the three fastest ODI hundreds for England, has a modest record in tests.
He came into the series without much playing time in first-class cricket and only made the team after the first two tests as England’s other batsmen struggled.
The right-handed batsman, England’s wicketkeeper in the shorter formats, was pleased with Thursday’s knock which came against class bowlers including the world’s top-ranked test bowler Ashwin.
“Very pleasing. I felt the team needs them (the runs) and that’s really satisfying,” Buttler said, adding that his stint in the Indian Premier League with the Mumbai Indians had helped.
”I really enjoyed the time in the middle and getting ourselves to what we feel is a good score on the board.
“The knock was against quality bowlers in their conditions.”
Editing by Toby Davis