SPORTS

Players ‘Body Language And Intensity’ Wasn’t Up To The Mark: Virat Kohli

Mumbai: After suffering a 227-run defeat in the first Test against England, India captain Virat Kohli said on Tuesday that his body language and his intensity were not up to the mark in the first innings of the Chennai Test.

On the fifth day of the first Test, James Anderson and Jack Leach stole the show for England as both took seven wickets to put the hosts on 192 runs. Kohli top-scored for India as he played a knock of 72 runs.

India was last beaten at home in 2017 as Australia outclassed Kohli’s side at Pune.

He said, “I don’t think we put enough pressure on him with the ball in the first half. Collectively as a bowling unit, fast bowler and Ash (Ashwin) were good in the first innings but we also needed to contain a few more runs and create pressure. Having said that, it was a slow wicket and not helping the bowlers which made it easy for the batsmen to rotate the strike and get into the game,” Kohli told host broadcaster Star Sports after the conclusion of the match.

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He said, “It didn’t happen in the first two days. But credit to England, they got stuck and put a big shot on the board. Our body language and intensity were not up to the mark, the second innings we were much better,” he added

Kohli was also instrumental to the performance of the top-order batsmen in the first innings and the captain said that the batting performance of the first innings went much further in India after losing this Test match.

He said, “We were better off the bat in the second half of the first innings, not the first four batsmen. We have to understand the things that we have done decently in this game and the things that we have not done and as a side, we always want to improve. England was far more professional and consistent throughout the Test match than we were,” said Kohli.

On the performances of Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar, Kohli said: “You need your bowling unit so that you can step in and put pressure on the opposition. We have not achieved that in this game, which is fine, the performance reduction is acceptable, but to understand our mindset was right is very important for us. I think we did well with the ball in the second innings and put pressure on them. With the bat as well we left a few things to be desired and analysed as batsmen with the kind of decisions we took.”

The England bowlers dominated the hosts right from the start of the final day. Shubman Gill gave a glimpse of hope, but that was short-lived as Anderson dismissed Gill, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant.

On the fourth day, England was bowled out for 178 runs in the second innings and as a result, India set a target of 420 runs to win. Four minutes into the first day of running, Leach Clean bowled Rohit Sharma and gave the hosts a big shock.

With this loss, England jumped to the first spot in World Test Championship (WTC) standings while India has slipped to the fourth spot. As a result of this loss against England, India suffered their first defeat on home soil for the first time in the last four years.

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