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MUMBAI, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The lack of sting in England's bowling on Thursday raised doubts about whether the Wankhede Stadium pitch has eased up in favour of the batsmen but India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel feels the difference was due to the quality of the hosts' attack.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up six wickets in England's first-innings total of 400 and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took the remaining four.
Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara then shared an unbroken second-wicket stand of 107 to take India to 146-1 at the close.
England, who trail the five-match series 2-0, went wicketless during the final session on a pitch that was offering assistance to the spinners.
"More than the surface, I think the quality of our bowling is far better," Patel told reporters. "Our bowlers get definitely more revolutions on the ball than what their spinners are doing.
"And obviously, we vary our pace very well. We have deceived a lot of players in the air rather than just waiting for the help from the wicket. I think there's definitely a lot of difference in the quality."
England's bowlers also dished up too many loose deliveries to Vijay and Pujara.
"We don't have to go over the top and try and play a sweep or a reverse sweep because we know that a bad ball is coming soon," the 31-year-old Patel said.
India still trail England by 254 runs.
"I think we are a in a very good position at the moment," Patel said. "We thought 400... it can happen with the tailenders playing. They were lucky enough.
"I thought we could have got them out for 375 but at the end of the day, 150 for one... we are very well placed." (Editing by Ed Osmond)