India suffered a 118-run defeat in the fifth and final Test against England at The Oval on Tuesday (September 11) and thus conceded the series 4-1. However, India skipper Virat Kohli feels the eventual scoreline doesn’t reflect how competitive the series was.
“I think the 1-4 scoreline is a fair one as England played better than us but we were not outplayed barring the Lord’s Test,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“The kind of cricket we have played might not show on the scorecard. But both the teams know this series has been a competitive one,” he added.
Kohli, who finished the five-Test series as a leading run-getter (593) from either side, said the series has been a great advertisement for Test cricket.
“This has been a great advert for Test cricket. The fans will come and watch if both teams play for a win. The basic idea was to go out there and play the cricket we are supposed to do,” Virat remarked.
“England are a professional side and we realised that the game could change with in two-three overs. England also don’t go for draws and they played fearless cricket and so did we. That is why you won’t see draws in these kind of series,” he explained.
Kohli was in full of praise for the two youngsters – KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant – who shared a 204-run stand for the sixth wicket to give India a glimmer of hope heading into the last session. While Rahul notched up his fifth century (147) in red-ball cricket, Pant registered his maiden Test ton (114) on the final day.
“I think a lot of credit has to go to the two young guys (Rahul and Pant). I am delighted for both the guys and it speaks of India’s future. We did not take our opportunities,” Kohli asserted.
“Pant showed a lot of grit and character. We have character in the team and we just need some experience. When you get into a zone when you are not thinking about the result, things go your way,” he continued.
Virat said despite the series defeat India can take a lot of positives from the series.
“We can take a lot of heart from this but we need to apply ourselves better the next time around. There is a reason why we voted Sam (Curran) to be the Man of the series. It takes character to come in and play like that. He put England forward in the 1st and 4th Test match,” he stated.
The Indian captain also endorsed the result-oriented pitches in Test cricket like this series has provided.
“There should be exciting pitches all over. The crowd wants results and its good for the game,” he said.
Kohli concluded by congratulating Alastair Cook on a glittering cricket career.
“Just one word for Cook. You have had a great career. All the best for all your future endeavours,” he signed off.
(With PTI inputs)