To swing or not to swing

It's not been a particularly easy tour so far for India: trailing 2-0 to England in the Test series, they're getting a fearful hammering in the third Test at Edgbaston too, where they were bowled out for a paltry 224 long before the end of the day's play. There was even time for England to rack up 84 runs for no wickets.

India coach Duncan Fletcher has claimed that the swing-bowling conditions here are simply too much for Indian batsmen to handle, blaming it for their poor showing so far, but seam bowler Tim Bresnan has contradicted the former England man, saying that it merely 'swung a bit, but not overly.' Fletcher however is adamant that the conditions have played havoc with India's play.

'It was pretty tough,' said Fletcher. 'Unfortunately the toss was quite important and the two wickets we lost just before lunch really put us on the back foot.

'If that had not happened it might have been a different story. It is important to recognise that when any team comes to England, especially early on, we have seen them struggle against the swing and the seam.

'Even when I was with England, I haven't seen the ball swing around so much for three Tests in a row. It has been pretty difficult for the batters to adapt. Probably today was the only day when the swing has got less as the day has progressed. In every other match the ball has swung all day.

'How can you practice against swing bowling in India when there is no swing bowling? It is a matter of trying to adapt as quickly as you can. England hunt in a pack and they have a lot of intensity about them, but it has been made easier for them by the swinging conditions that really suit this pace attack. If it flattens out and doesn't swing, I still believe we are in this match.'

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