First Test: India were on top of the game, says Virat Kohli

Kohli said they may go into the remaining matches of the series with a similar bowling template of four pacers and one spinner.
Virat Kohli
Indian Captain Virat Kohli

Nottingham, Aug 8 : India were in a good position to have a crack at the target in the first Test here before rain played spoilsport, said skipper Virat Kohli.

Chasing a target of 209, India was 52 for one wicket at the end of play on the fourth day, with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara looking good to guide them to victory with some attacking play. However, their hopes were dashed as no play was possible on the fifth day because of heavy rains.

“We thought we were in a good position to have a crack at the target. This is exactly what we wanted to do: we wanted to start strong,” Kohli said after the match was called off as a draw.

“Heading to day five, we had our chances right in front of us. One good partnership and then you know what happens when there’s only 150 on the board to defend. We certainly felt like we are on top of the game. We bowled well enough and batted well enough to stay in the contest and then getting that lead was crucial which kept us on top throughout the game,” Kohli said.

Virat Kohli was happy with the way his batsmen started the chase in the second innings.

“And to get to 50 overnight is a big positive for us. It wasn’t about survival; it was about getting the boundaries where the opportunity presented itself,” he said.

“Our intent is what kept us ahead in the game. Even today the start would have been the same,” the Indian skipper Virat Kohli added.

India went into the Test with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as openers as Mayank Agarwal was ruled out because of a concussion. Shubman Gill the first-choice opener is already back in India because of an injury.

Rahul scored 84 in the first innings while Ravindra Jadeja contributed 56. But what pleased Kohli was the way tailenders Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj added 46 runs that helped India gain a lead of 95 runs.

“It’s a hard work of three-odd weeks now. They have been in the nets regularly, wanting to contribute regularly, wanting to contribute to the team. Getting 50-plus runs from those three bowlers was like gold dust for us – we would have been talking about a lead of 40-odd and then we got to a lead of 95 purely because of their efforts,” he said.

Kohli said they may go into the remaining matches of the series with a similar bowling template of four pacers and one spinner.

“Most likely it will be a template going ahead in the series, but again, adaptability has been a strength of ours as well. This looks like the right template for us moving forward,” Virat Kohli added.

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