India v England: Jonny Bairstow says tourists must back their ability to avoid Vizag defeat

Jonny Bairstow, center, plays a shot on the third day of their second cricket test match against India in Visakhapatnam, India, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Jonny Bairstow, center, plays a shot on the third day of their second cricket test match against India in Visakhapatnam, India, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

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Jonny Bairstow believes England must retain belief they can escape Vizag without defeat after India closed the third day of the second Test with a 298-run advantage.

Jonny Bairstow believes England must retain belief they can escape Vizag without defeat after India closed the third day of the second Test with a 298-run advantage.

England were bowled out for 255 - after Bairstow and Ben Stokes initially carved out a century stand - to concede a 200-run first-innings lead.

The tourists then claimed three quick wickets, to provide further evidence of the required determination to stave off the hosts, who nonetheless remain in the driving seat after skipper Virat Kohli fluently moved to an unbeaten half-century in a total of 98 for three at stumps.

That has left England knowing a fourth-innings battle awaits them - on a pitch offering variable bounce - but Bairstow believes they are up for the fight.

“As long as we keep playing straight, and have belief and confidence in our ability, then it won’t be the first time that we’ve had to bat a period of time on a pitch that is worse than that,” said Bairstow.

“If it starts turning we’ve come from Bangladesh where the pitches have turned a lot too. It’s going to be tough to face the music but at the same time we know we have the capabilities and guys that have scored runs in the sub-continent to do that.

“It was only last week that we scored 500-odd on a pitch not too dissimilar to that. It’s going to be a challenge, but why not enjoy that challenge.”

England received a boost after stumps with the news that Stuart Broad would be able to continue to bowl in the second innings.

The right-arm seamer had scans on a foot problem earlier in the day, which revealed he has strained a tendon and one of the small joints in his right forefoot.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is set to review the injury at the end of the Test, but for now he is available to help limit India’s advantage.

Broad managed that in an impressive opening spell to start the hosts’ second innings, when he claimed two for six, and after James Anderson claimed the other wicket to fall Bairstow believes making further inroads on Sunday morning will be important.

“I think at the start of the day getting to within 200 of them, having been five down, was a reasonable effort from us,” he added.

“Then to take three early wickets was a good start. Tomorrow morning we come back, it’s 9.30 in the morning, hopefully we get something out of the pitch early on with the seamers and create a couple chances and then you just don’t know.

“It’s going to take a couple of special knocks, but the way Virat has gone out there and played tonight just shows you that runs are to be had and scored on this wicket.”

Bairstow’s day started in some calamity as he required treatment on the field before play after he tripped and fell while he walked out to bat.

The wicketkeeper-batsman admitted it was not his most graceful moment, adding: “My foot got stuck in the grass and I ended up looking a bit like an idiot to be honest with you, but it actually really hurt my knee.

“We cracked on and Stokes and I put on a nice partnership.”

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