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Surprised to see so much grass: Kohli

Virat Kohli seemed convinced that there was no demon in the pitch though the regular fall of wickets may have made it appear so on the final day.

Asked whether the surface deteriorated during the second half, he said: “The ball did quite a bit for the spinners from the last hour of day three. That stayed consistent on the final three days. From day three, it slowed down a bit, but there were no demons as such. The wicket was pretty decent throughout the game.’’

Excerpts:

Five-bowler theory: I was quite surprised to see much grass, to be honest. That should not have been the case. Secondly, I thought Ashwin was batting really well; he has scored a lot of runs this year; so also Saha. Plus it was Jadeja’s home ground and we backed him to get a few runs too. That gave an opportunity to play Mishra, an extra spinner. We had all our bases covered. With five batsmen, we ended up getting close to 500 and batted out the second innings as well.

Going ahead, we can still have an extra bowling option and keep putting pressure on the opposition.

Satisfied with the draw? Well, at least we know how to draw games now! Before, some people obviously were sceptical about our side knowing how to draw games. I spoke to (Ravindra) Jadeja that it was an opportunity to improve on another aspect of the game. It was a challenging situation, but one that we encountered really well.

Catching up with England: Depends on how you look at it. We looked at it as a chance to know how to play in this situation. The best learning comes in a game. You can practice all you want in the nets, but once you know how to make runs, you understand how it is done.

DRS: Those are very small margins and you have to trust the wicketkeeper and the bowler.

But, at times, you need to understand that the bowler might push you to take it in desperation and you need to understand it as captain. While batting, one thing I saw was that it was very important for a non-striker to stay as close as possible to the stumps. From a little wider, the line of the ball cannot be judged well.

Cook disappointed

Alastair Cook, who became the first England batsman to cross 1000 runs against India in India, said he was a touch disappointed that his team could not cross the finish line.

The pitch: It was not a minefield. “The reason behind it [declaring after lunch] was we didn’t want to give India a sniff. Batting just to survive is a lot different than chasing 260 or 270. On the same wicket we were 180 for nought. It wasn’t a minefield. The odd ball did a bit. Maybe a braver person would have set them 240, but I thought it was a fair declaration, especially for the first game of the series.

This is what Test cricket is all about, the different circumstances you play in. Going into the last hour, there was all to play for. I thought it was a cracking wicket.

On his own form: Luckily my record here (in India) is ok. The second innings was quite hard work. I have not been in the greatest form and it’s nice to score runs when you’re not at your best.

Hameed’s performance: He’s an unbelievable player. He’s pushing me closer to retirement. A 19-year-old outscored me… he’s a find, isn’t he? We said before the game we had no doubt he could play.

On Stokes: He’s our golden player. He balances the side, allows us to play three spinners, three seamers... playing on turning tracks is probably his last challenge. He has worked incredibly hard.

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