England ‘not scared’ of big totals – Collingwood



England are not intimidated by India’s recovery on the first day of the fifth Test at Edgbaston, according to assistant coach Paul Collingwood.

The tourists were reduced to 98-5, only for Rishabh Pant’s electric 146 to lead them to 338-7.

England chased fourth-innings totals in excess of 250 on three occasions in their 3-0 series win over New Zealand.

“We’re not scared of what we need to chase in the fourth innings,” said Collingwood.

“The way that we played in the three games against New Zealand showed we’re not overawed by what the opposition are going to get in the first innings.”

This match has been rescheduled from last September, when the final Test in the series was postponed because of Covid-19 cases in the India camp, with the visitors 2-1 up.

Since then England have embraced a swashbuckling new style under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, which led to New Zealand being swept aside.

And Collingwood said the manner of the three wins over the Black Caps – England batted second on all three occasions – had an influence in Stokes’ decision to field first after winning the toss against India.

England exploited the morning cloud cover to run through the India top order, only for Pant to smash an 89-ball century in a partnership of 222 with Ravindra Jadeja.

“We’ve been pretty successful in those three games against New Zealand,” added Collingwood, who played 68 Tests for England.

“We’re not playing conventional Test cricket. We’re trying to be as attacking as possible.

“We want to be on the more aggressive side of the line. If we feel we can take early wickets with some moisture in the pitch, you might get ahead of the game.”

In the second Test against New Zealand, England conceded 553 after asking the Black Caps to bat first, but went on to complete victory in a stunning run chase on the final day at Trent Bridge.

Collingwood said they will not be concerned even if India build their total on Saturday at Edgbaston.

“We’re not scared of conceding a big first-innings total, we showed that at Trent Bridge,” he told Test Match Special.

“After day one, it looks like we’ve got another good game.”

Though Pant was caught at slip off the bowling of Joe Root, Jadeja remains on 83 not out.

Despite Jadeja only having the tail for company, wicketkeeper Pant still believes India can push towards 400 and beyond.

“They bowled well at the start but we batted well to come back,” he told Test Match Special.

“As long as we get 400 or 450, it will be a good total. The pitch is looking good.”



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