After suffering a heart-breaking 31-run defeat in the first Test against England at Edgbaston, India skipper Virat Kohli acknowledged that his team was not up to the mark with the bat.
Despite Kohli scoring 200 runs in the match, India were bundled out for 274 and 162 in their first and second innings respectively.
“Our shot selection could have been better. We definitely need to apply ourselves better with the bat, but England came back superbly and we need to take the positives and move forward. There is a lot to learn from the lower order in the first innings, Ishant and Umesh got stuck in the middle,” Kohli quoted while speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“There is no hiding from this game; we need to be positive, relentless,” he added.
Kohli finished the match as the highest run-getter from either side. While the Indian captain registered his maiden Test ton (149) on English soil in the first innings, he scored a solid 51 in the second innings.
Talking about his knock, Virat said: “From the team’s point of view, my innings in the first innings is right up there, perhaps second after the knock in Adelaide. Had we won it would have been the best. We need to think how to regroup and get back for the next match.”
Given the epic contest between bat and ball, the Edgbaston garnered a lot of interest throughout the four day’s play. Kohli also praised the format, saying that Test cricket still remains the pinnacle and his favourite.
“It was a great game of cricket. Glad to be a part of such an exciting Test match; there were a couple of moments when we came back. A team like England is relentless, they made us work very hard for our runs. Test cricket is my favourite format, there is nothing better than testing yourselves over five days and I hope the fans like it too,” he remarked.
On the other hand, England skipper Joe Root credited his troops for seizing the crunch moments through the course of the match.
“I am thrilled to bits. It has been a fantastic team performance despite the ups and downs the credit must go to the bowling unit. Coming into today, it was going to be stiff challenge and we knew that if we stayed calm throughout, we would give ourselves the best chance to win. This is why Test cricket is this special – it throws up so many things through the day and we did a good job in staying calm,” Root stated.
“We made sure we didn’t get ahead of ourselves and after three days of fantastic cricket from both sides it gives us a lot of confidence going into the next game. It shows that there is so much more than just skills, runs and wickets when it comes to Test cricket at this level. It is a great time for us and hopefully we can use it going forward,” he further said.
The England captain has praising words reserved for rookie seamer Sam Curran, who was given the Man of the Match award for his all-round showing.
“Sam Curran has a great amount of skill; great having him in our side and very exciting and promising cricketer. It is easy to make an emotional decision right now, but we need to sit outside and decide for Lord’s depending on the surface,” Root concluded.
Curran claimed five wickets in the Test match while he contributed 87 runs with the bat. After receiving the Player of the Match award, Sam Curran said he learned a lot from watching Kohli bat.
“I can’t take it all at the moment. Obviously when Jimmy took Karthik out first up it gave us a lot of confidence. I just try to take it like another game, but it is quite hard with the Barmy Army chanting out there, but I look to take it all in. I looked to learn from how Virat batted with the tail in the first innings. This is what I always wanted – playing Test cricket with these guys I have grown up watching and I am looking to learn the most I can from them,” the 20-year-old asserted.
Lord’s will host the second Test match between England and India from Thursday (August 9).