Virat Kohli refused to put the blame on India’s batsmen despite the 60-run loss against England in the fourth Test at Southampton on Sunday.
India needed to chase down 245 runs for victory but they got bowled out for 184 in the final innings with only Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane managing 50-plus scores while the rest of the batsmen failed to live up to the expectations once again.
Kohli and Rahane added 101 runs off 254 balls for the fourth wicket with the captain scoring 58 runs while the vice-captain made 51.
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The duo had raised India’s hope after they lost three early wickets in their run chase but the innings fell apart once Kohli departed at the stroke of tea on day 4.
“We thought we were in with a chance last night but we didn’t get the start we wanted, they were relentless with the ball and applied pressure throughout. Credit to them, they bowled well and we couldn’t get enough.
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“Mindset was one ball at a time, me and Jinks wanted to put on a partnership. Usually you’re in the chase with a partnership but they made early inroads and we knew a couple of wickets would put pressure on us. We enjoyed it out there, but they pulled it back, that’s the beauty of Test cricket,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
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India lost their last 7 wickets for just 61 runs after Moeen Ali ended Kohli and Rahane’s fourth-wicket partnership. KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara failed to trouble the scorers while Shikhar Dhawan (17), Hardik Pandya (0) and Rishabh Pant (18) were also not up to the mark.
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“There’s a lot of ‘what ifs’, calls that could have gone our way. We could have got maybe a larger lead, Pujara was outstanding to get us ahead. There were many factors, but not many negatives, England played better than us and deserved the win. We need to take the positives into the next Test match,” Kohli added.
Kohli also complimented rookie England all-rounder Sam Curran for the way he batted in both innings lower down the order.
“I think it’s great to have guys who strike the ball well in those positions, you can get a partnership together and hurt the opposition. They are fearless and have skills, they were braver than us in tough positions. Runs from the lower order were significant, I congratulate Sam Curran, he’s been a fine cricketer,” Kohli said.
And finally, Kohli said India will be look to go into the fifth and final Test match with the same intensity and try to beat England and end the series on a high. We can win this match just like that 3rd test match
“Apart from Lord’s I don’t think we have been outplayed, it’s been enjoyable, teams going at each other with good quality. We’ll go to the Oval and come out with the same intensity,” Kohli concluded.
The two teams will meet again for the fifth and final Test which will be played at The Oval in London from September 7.