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Patel encouraged by improvement

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England are on the brink of a match-winning performance against India, Samit Patel believes.

Alastair Cook’s tourists went 2-0 down in the best-of-five one-day series yesterday with an eight-wicket defeat in Delhi.

England’s 237 was a significant improvement on 174 in an opening 126-run loss at Hyderabad, but the hosts cruised to victory with more than 13 overs remaining thanks to Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 112 and 84 not out from Gautam Gambhir.

As there was between the first two games, there is just two days before the third match in Mohali on Thursday.

All-rounder Patel, a member of a middle order that all made starts but failed to go beyond 46 at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground, is staying positive.

“Going 2-0 down is not the best, but we’ve got to stay upbeat,” he said. “The series is still live. We’ve got to go to Mohali, put these two games behind us.

“As I say, we’ve got to improve and I don’t think we’re that far away. People are getting starts with the bat; it’s a matter of time really and we’ve got to stay upbeat. Getting a win in Mohali is crucial for us.”

Jonny Bairstow

Having shared a restorative 86-run alliance with Jonny Bairstow, pictured, who went on to make 35, Patel said: "I felt that Jonny played outstanding."

If England’s batsmen need a template for success on the sub-continent, Kohli and Gambhir’s unbroken 209-run partnership gave them just that.

Joining forces in the seventh over after the loss of both openers to Tim Bresnan, they saw off the threat of the new balls - two being used under the new regulations - to capitalise on a flat pitch.

“We got shown by Kohli and Gambhir how to do it. That’s not saying we don’t know how to do it. We know exactly how to do it.” added Patel, who was a little carried away in his recollection of England’s 3-0 victory margin in last month’s NatWest Series.

“We’ve got some world-class batters in our team: Trott, Pietersen, Bopara, and Cook and Kieswetter up top have always done the job. I don’t think that’s an issue. I think we’ve got to stay upbeat, and we’ve not played to the potential that we can play.

“That’s quite difficult to take, the fact that we’ve smashed India 4-0 at home. Different conditions here but we knew exactly what we’re going to get here and we’ve not played to our best.”

Patel came in with England teetering at 121 for five but he and Jonny Bairstow, who hit 42 and 35 respectively, shared a restorative alliance worth 86.

“You have to try and dig in for the team and I felt that Jonny played outstanding really and we just had to get something together and try and get a respectable target,” he said.

“230, we knew we had to scrap and we gave it everything; we didn’t leave anything out on the pitch. Credit to us, but I think India were fantastic.”

At 207 for five in the 42nd over, when Umesh Yadav trapped Patel in front to break the partnership, England were poised for a defendable score.

It was not to be, but Patel thinks that if the tourists can fire as a team they will win in Mohali.

“I think we’ve not played to the potential that we can,” he added. “I don’t think it’s the conditions. I know if we play to our best we’ll be too strong for them.”

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