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England can avoid defeat, says Collingwood

Published: Sunday, August 12, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
 
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England can still save the third and final Test against India at the Oval, according to batsman Paul Collingwood.

London: England can still save the third and final Test against India at the Oval, according to batsman Paul Collingwood.

The home side slumped to 326 for nine on day three, trailing India by 338 runs and needing another 139 to avoid the follow-on.

''I think everybody in the dressing room thinks this can be saved,'' Collingwood told reporters after his innings of 62.

''There's still plenty of fight in there.

''There were a few of us who got in but we didn't go on and put up the big partnerships we needed. Someone needed to get a big hundred but it wasn't to be.'' Ian Bell made 63 and Alastair Cook 61 but England's one-day captain Collingwood said more was needed from all the batsmen.

''The pitch is wearing and it is going to make it difficult for us,'' he said.

''Credit to the Indian bowlers because they swung the ball around all day. The control they have shown has been excellent.

''It's very difficult to line up the ball to play your shots when it's swinging both ways.'' India, 1-0 up in the series, have struggled to win outside Asia but captain Rahul Dravid is now close to emulating Kapil Dev's 1986 team by winning in England.

Dravid was delighted by the discipline shown by his bowlers on a good batting pitch.

''I'm very, very happy,'' said Dravid, who would not say whether he would enforce the follow-on.

''It's a very flat wicket and very slow, so for us to get eight wickets in the day was a great effort.''

Reuters

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