Jeetan Patel said England should take “positives” from Moen and Leach’s performance against India.
English spin bowling consultant Jeetan Patel defended the performance of his spinners after India took a seemingly safe lead in the second Test match in Chennai.
Ravichandran Ashwin scored a century as England, who lost three wickets in the second set, won by 482.
But Moeen Ali and Jack Leach both won four wickets in India’s 286 in the second set.
And Patel said they “put a lot of effort into it.”
He added, “They each played 60 times and had one session in three days.
“They’ll be tired today and tomorrow, but we have to take a lot of positives out of it.
“Moe OD’d 60 times in the trial match and took eight wickets. Probably should have had nine or ten.”
A score of 96 between Ashwin and captain Virat Kohli enabled India to level the series ahead of the third Test, an afternoon match in Ahmedabad starting on February 24, but Patel insisted that England look to the positives.
“There is something positive in every cricket match, whether you are on the winning side or not. I’m not going to say we’re going to win this match, but we’re going to shake the baton,” he said.
Moen has a match score of 8-226 while Leach, who took two wickets in the first set, has a record of 4-100 in the second set.
Both players found a turn in the field and provided plenty of help to the spinners, but struggled to keep the Indian batsmen at bay with a consistent line and length.
Moeen, playing his first trial match in 18 months, allowed 4.41 runs in the first set but improved in the second, in which he allowed 98 runs in his 32 overs.
“At first he showed signs of nervousness and maybe a little bit of anxiety,” Patel said. “As the race went on, he was really confident in the way he did his job.
“They are great deliveries, they form away from the right-handed drummer, they dive and they hit the wicket hard and turn big. I don’t know what else people would want.”
By comparison, Ashwin, playing on his home track, took 5-43 on Day 2 with a save of 1.80 and added a wicket to Rory Burns, who opened the scoring in England, before the match ended on Monday.
Ashwin, who scored his first 100 Test score since August 2016, has now gone through five wickets for the third time and scored 100 in the same match, a record that only Ian Botham has beaten.
Left-hander Aksar Patel was also demoted for scoring exactly two runs, while former England pitcher Phil Tufnell felt that the English pitchers offered too many bad balls to the Indian batsmen.
“I don’t think we bowled as well as we could have,” he told The Cricket Society.
“Looking back, I think there were a lot of bad balls that gave us four races and gave us momentum. We didn’t make India work hard enough for their race”.
Tufnell added that the best two English teams went through in the second set.
“Moeen would have been disappointed with the way he bowled in the first inning, with a couple of full hits and dropping [pressure] balls,” he said.
“But you see the rhythm coming back.”
“The leaching miraculously stayed with her. It played a few bad balls, but it became more regular as the sheep piled up.
“They just need to smooth out the bad deliveries.”