India was expected to bundle out England within 250 after they reduced the hosts to 198/7 at stumps on Day 1 at The Oval. However, Jos Buttler hit a patient 89 and in the process stitched a couple of substantial partnerships with Adil Rashid (15) and Stuart Broad (38) to help England post 332 in the first innings.
Addressing the media after the second day’s play, India speedster Jasprit Bumrah admitted that the responsibility was on bowlers to not let the England tail wag. He also rued failing to capitalize on a strong position.
"Obviously, we were at a good position when we restricted them to 198/7," Bumrah told reporters.
"The reason behind their comeback in the game was two-sided – their tail batted well, but we failed to capitalize on the situation as a bowling unit as well. We tried to bowl in the right areas, but they applied themselves well. We plan for each and every batsman and give equal respect to every batsman. We tried to execute that today, but it didn't work," he added.
Bumrah feels an extra bowler would have helped matters. India is playing with 4 bowlers in the match, including the left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has taken a five-wicket haul in India’s 203-run victory in the third Test at Trent Bridge, was snubbed from the playing XI after his failure in Southampton.
"When you have an extra bowler, it gives you some cushion while bowling. When you bowl with four bowlers, you need to bowl more overs as you have to come back (to bowl) quickly,” Bumrah remarked.
"We bowled our hearts out yesterday as well as today because we bowled a lot of overs. Sometimes, having an extra bowler gives you more rest," he elaborated.
Talking about Buttler, Bumrah said the swashbuckling English batsman took his chances and it paid off.
"He played well today and took his chances. When you bat with the tail, you don't have much to lose and you can play with a lot of freedom," Bumrah said.
"Our batsmen have done that as well – we saw it in the first Test match when Virat (Kohli) was batting with the tail, he scored a lot of runs. That's a position where a batsman has a win-win situation. If it doesn't pay off, it's okay. If it does, it's a bonus for the team," he concluded.