Farbrace hails 'outstanding day' for England after fightback

India looked in control but lost two late wickets on day three of the first Test against India

England players celebrate the wicket of Indian batsman Amit Mishra on the third day of the first Test against India in Rajkot, India. Photograph: AP Photo

Assistant coach Paul Farbrace hailed an "outstanding day" for England after seeing the tourists fight back with two late wickets on day three of the first Test against India.

India looked in control as hundreds from Cheteshwar Pujara (124) and Murali Vijay (126) helped the hosts make significant headway into England's first-innings 537.

However, Vijay and nightwatchman Amit Mishra fell to spin in what proved to be the last four balls of the day to leave India on 319 for four heading into day four in Rajkot. Farbrace insists England – who endured a tough time on their recent drawn series against unfancied Bangladesh – are not getting ahead of themselves, but was nevertheless delighted with the team's efforts.

He said: : “We were saying with 10 minutes to go, ‘One more wicket to give the boys a bit of a lift’. To get two in those last few minutes is outstanding. “They are exhausted. They put a lot into today. I think we’ve learned an awful lot today. We talked a lot in Bangladesh about how to hold lines, hold lengths.


“Today’s been outstanding. Sixty-four runs in that middle session, 250-ish runs in the day on still a very good pitch. . . I think it’s been an outstanding day for us. “It’s a case of keeping going all day, and they got their rewards at the end of the day. And when you do have a day when you get your rewards at the end, it makes is so much easier for the guys going into (Saturday). “We know there’s a long way to go but it just shows this team is very capable of improving and improving quickly.

"It is tough conditions, but it's tough for everybody. But it's been an excellent three days of cricket and we think we've done particularly well today." Farbrace added: "I think our spinners have shown today they have learned a lot from the Bangladesh experience and I think all three of them (Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali and Zafar Ansari) have had a pretty decent day today.

“There’s still an awful lot of cricket to be played in this game, so we’re not getting carried away. It’s a great way to finish the day with two late wickets but we’re certainly not getting carried away with it.”