MUMBAI (Reuters) - England will not look to play for a draw on the final day of the fourth test against India but would rather try to score quickly to set the hosts a target and keep alive the series, fast bowler James Anderson said on Sunday.
The touring side, down 2-0 in the five-match series, trail India by 49 runs with four second-innings wickets remaining at the close of the fourth day.
On a turning Wankhede Stadium pitch, batting fourth will not be easy for the hosts, who made 631 in their first innings.
England lost three wickets cheaply in their second innings before Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow launched a counter-attack with brisk fifties to bring down the deficit.
“I enjoyed watching Root and Bairstow bat. I thought they did it with real positive intent and showed you can still score runs out there,” Anderson told reporters.
”We hope that’s given the lads down the order a bit of confidence going into tomorrow –- because we’re certainly not going to be trying to bat out for a draw.
“If we’re going to keep this series alive, we’re going to have to try to get past them and try to put some pressure on in the fourth innings.”
India had a lead of 51 at the start of the fourth day but an eighth-wicket stand between Virat Kohli, who scored 235, and Jayant Yadav extended that advantage to 231.
”It is immensely frustrating,“ Anderson said. ”Coming to the ground this morning, needing to get three wickets with them 50 ahead, if we could get them we’re still well in the game.
“Unfortunately we didn’t bowl as well as we could have first thing.”
Anderson dismissed Kohli four times during India’s test series in England in 2014 but the batsman has already scored 640 runs in the ongoing series at an average of 128.
England’s most prolific wicket-taker felt the India captain, who has scored three double hundreds in 2016, was not tested enough in home conditions.
“I just think any technical deficiencies he’s got aren’t in play out here. The wickets just take that out of the equation,” said Anderson, who has 467 test wickets.
”There’s not that pace in the wicket to get the nicks, like we did against him in England –- with a bit more movement. When that’s not there, he’s very much suited to playing in these conditions.
“He’s a very good player of spin and if you’re not bang on the money and don’t take your chances, he’ll punish you.”
Editing by Clare Fallon