Cricket

Ind vs Eng | First-innings batting made the difference, says Kohli

Virat Kohli in action on day 5 of the first Test against England in Chennai on February 9, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Virat Kohli bemoaned the lack of application by the batsmen, especially in the first innings, for the loss of the first Test.

“I think the Test probably shifted in their favour when we batted in the first innings. I don't think there was enough application shown by us as a batting unit,” said Kohli at the post-match press conference.

“From a batting point of view, if we could have scored 70-80 runs more, the contest would have been on an even keel. The batting of both teams in the second innings was pretty similar. The first innings made the difference,” he said.

The skipper also felt the bowling unit did not exert enough pressure in the first innings.

“As a bowling unit, we did not bowl well collectively. The pacers and Ashwin bowled in good areas. But if [Shahbaz] Nadeem and Washi [Sundar] were equally economical, there would have been more pressure on England,” said Kohli.

However, he pointed out there was not enough help for the bowlers on the first two days.

“The wicket was flat and slow. I am not saying that that is an excuse, but you have to understand the reality of what went on. When you get big runs, even when the wicket is flat, the opposition is invariably under pressure.”

When asked about the decision to play Shahbaz Nadeem ahead of Kuldeep Yadav, Kohli said, “When playing two off-spinners, Kuldeep more or less becomes a similar kind of spinner taking the ball away [from the left-hander]. We will think of combinations which bring us variety.”

Impact player

The captain also backed Ajinkya Rahane to come good despite a string of low scores since his century in Melbourne against Australia.

“Ajinkya, I have said many times in the past as well, along with Pujara, is our most important Test batsman. We believe in his abilities, have believed in his abilities for a long time now and he's an impact player.”

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 8:42:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/body-language-and-intensity-was-not-up-to-mark-no-excuses-says-virat-kohli/article33791384.ece

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