|India v England: First Test|
|Venue: Rajkot Date: 9-13 November Time: 04:00 GMT|
|Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra & BBC Sport website, tablets, mobiles and app; live text coverage on BBC Sport website|
England’s containing tactics in the first Test against India could pay dividends on days four and five, says assistant coach Paul Farbrace.
The tourists took two wickets in the last two overs of day three as India reached 319-4, still 218 behind.
Farbrace is expecting the Rajkot pitch to deteriorate and says “we think we’re in a good position”.
“We do expect the wicket to turn and we expect it to be a little more up and down as well,” he told TMS.
“We have seen a few misbehave over the last couple of days and I think it will start to happen more often. Any advantage you can have will be a massive advantage.”
Stuart Broad removed Gautam Gambhir in the second over of the day but England had to wait until late in the evening session for further breakthroughs as Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara compiled patient centuries in a second-wicket partnership of 209.
The tourists restricted India to 256 runs on the third day, with only 66 scored off 29 overs in the afternoon session as Broad and spinners Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari maintained a tight line.
Farbrace says the game can change rapidly in the latter stages of Test matches in India and believes England are “in a good position to take advantage of that”.
“Generally in this part of the world the first three days – maybe towards tea time on the fourth day – they are good pitches and then as the pitches start to deteriorate things happen quickly,” he said.
“It’s a case of staying in the game because when things do speed up and the ball starts to misbehave, you’ve got to make sure you’re right in that game.”
‘Spinners show they can improve’
The assistant coach felt England’s bowlers showed control and patience given the excellent batting pitch and highlighted the contribution of the spinners as Rashid and Ansari picked up a wicket each at the end of the day.
“Our spinners, who took a bit of stick, have shown they are capable of improving,” he said.
“They are not suddenly going to be world-class spinners overnight but they have shown a real resolute way of getting the ball in the right area more often that not.
“For seamers and spinners, it was all about keeping control. Ben Stokes had a spell just before lunch where he didn’t quite get it right but that’s about the only time in the day where we lost a little bit of control. To nick a couple out at the end makes our dressing room a happier place tonight.”
However, Farbrace says England are likely to alter their bowling tactics if the pitch begins to offer more assistance.
“Tomorrow morning the plan will be exactly the same. It may be if the wicket starts to deteriorate a little, you might find your lines becoming a little bit straighter,” he said.
“At the moment our plan is to be fifth stump line – hang it out there and nick them off is probably the way to go. We have enough experience to know when the time is right to shift the lines.”