Graeme Swann has warned that England will have to restrict India’s first innings to below 450 if they are to remain in touch in the opening Test at Ahmedabad.
India reached the close on the first day on Thursday at 323 for four with Northampton-born off-spinner Swann taking all the wickets on a dry surface to keep his side in the game.
Virender Sehwag had looked like he would immediately blow the four-Test series open with a punishing run-a-ball 117 but once Swann spun one past him the tourists battled back.
While they still have plenty of work yet to do, with Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten on 98, Swann believes early wickets can haul them closer.
“It was a tough first session,” said former Northants man Swann in an interview on Sky Sports 1.
“The way their guys came out and batted - Sehwag was superb for the first two hours.
“But I thought after that we bounced back well and it was nice to pick up some wickets myself.”
With the pitch already showing signs it will become increasingly difficult to bat on Swann knows his side must limit India tomorrow.
He said: “We will need to get quick wickets in the morning. We need to keep them below 450.
“We will be batting last on this (pitch) and that’s what happens when you lose the toss.
“They have two very good spinners so we will have to bowl well.”
After Sehwag’s early fireworks India had reached lunch on 120 without loss but Swann revealed his side remained calm during a lunch-time debrief in which they vowed to win the middle session.
“We said that we knew how he (Sehwag) can bat, but that we couldn’t let the game drift away,” he said.
“I thought we did that by bowling with more discipline and straighter. I thought we won that session.”