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Kohli blames Headingley rout on 'scoreboard pressure'

Source: PTI
August 28, 2021 19:24 IST
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'Always up against it when you get out for under 80, and the opposition puts up such a big score.'

England's Moeen Ali celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Mohammed Shami on Day 4 of the third Test, at Headingley, Leeds, on Saturday.

IMAGE: England's Moeen Ali celebrates after taking the wicket of India's Mohammed Shami on Day 4 of the third Test, at Headingley, Leeds, on Saturday. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

India's meek surrender in the first innings of the third Test was "bizarre", says skipper Virat Kohli. The batting, he added, crumbled in the face of relentless pressure created by England’s bowlers

India lost the Leeds Test by an innings and 76 runs as England levelled the five-match series 1-1.

 

Kohli admitted that after being all out for 78 in the first innings, India were always playing the catch-up game.

"Basically, down to scoreboard pressure... Always up against it when you get out for under 80, and the opposition puts up such a big score," Kohli said, at the post-match presentation.

"But we did well to stay in the game yesterday, fight back as much as we could, and gave ourselves a chance. But the pressure today was outstanding from the England bowlers and, eventually, they got the results they wanted."

He said the batting collapse in the first innings was "quite bizarre" after their stupendous show in the Lord's Test.

"It can happen in this country; batting collapses! We thought the pitch was good to bat on, coming on nicely. But the discipline forced mistakes and the pressure was relentless. Difficult to cope when you're not scoring runs. That caused the batting order to crumble," he added.

Asked if, in hindsight, he would say that the decision to bat was a mistake, Kohli disagreed.

"No. Pitch looked good to bat on. When England batted it was a different ball game because we weren't as good with the ball. The result is a reflection of how the teams played in this game. We expected them to bounce back."

He said the team can't always depend on the lower-order batsmen to rescue them, like it happened in Lord's, where Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah shocked England with their gritty batting.

"Depth… it's an argument you can have. The top order has to give enough runs for the lower middle order to step up. We did pretty well in the first two games. When you have a result like this you can't take too much from it.

“As a batting group we need to stay close and confident. Even after 36 all out (in Australia) we came back."

Kohli remained non-committal on whether one more spinner would be added to the playing eleven in the next Test, starting September 2 at the Oval.

"It depends on the pitch. We will assess the surface, how much moisture is there and our decision will be based on that. I think this template works… the four seamers (in these conditions). For sure, we set the template; you're playing Test cricket and we've bounced back in the past.

"There are things we need to improve, but we will take pride in trying to correct those errors, something we are looking forward to."

England skipper Joe Root cold not stop smiling after his team's "clinical performance”.

"It was a fantastic, clinical performance. The two big lads were exceptional; built pressure early on. Three maidens this morning, and we felt we were in a good place to take wickets. When chances came, we took them," he said.

"Look at the talent in the dressing room. We know we're capable; just have to be more consistent. Brilliant with the ball but the opening partnership with the bat was fantastic."

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