Nottingham, Aug 8 (IANS) The contribution of India’s tail-end batsmen was one of the biggest positives of the first Test against England that ended in a draw on Sunday, said India opener K.L. Rahul.
After a horrendous outing during the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand where India lost their last four wickets for 12 and 14 across two innings, the last three wickets added 73 in the first Test.
“Tail-enders’ contribution becomes very important in away tours, those extra 30-40 runs really mattered in winning the Test match,” said Rahul speaking to the media on Sunday.
“Bowlers have worked very hard. We have been in UK for two months. They have been working very, very hard on their batting and with our batting coach as well. They are spending a lot of time on their batting as well as their bowling which is their primary skill. It is really good to see that level of application and dedication. They also feel they can contribute 30-40 runs in the lower order. It is crucial in countries like England,” he added.
Rahul added that the bowlers’ performance in the first innings as well as the way the team managed distracting rain breaks was a big positive.
“The way we bowled in the first innings was really good to see and the discipline we showed especially after losing the toss and having to bowl first. It sort of feels like the team that won the toss has the advantage but we went there and bowled with a lot of discipline,” added Rahul.
“The way they stuck to their plans and then how we went about our batting as well. It was quite a challenging pitch and also with the weather conditions being as it was, going in and out wasn’t easy for us to get our focus — switching off and switching on. The game getting interrupted was a challenge. Great to see that we kept our focus and held our focus in the field.”
The 29-year-old Karnataka batsman, who was drafted in as replacement opener, was the top-scorer in India’s first innings with 84. He also looked good for his 26 in the second innings before getting dismissed by Stuart Broad.
“It is a lot of fun batting in England. I think as a batsman if you are in that mind-space to go and enjoy yourself in the middle and be challenged, it is a great place to bat and learn about your own technique and about your own skill which I enjoyed. I also enjoyed last time when I was here but unfortunately I didn’t score that much but I took a lot out from that series, lot of learning. Happy to come here and start the series well. Looking forward to continuing what I am doing and giving my team the good starts and scoring a lot of runs, be it opening or in middle-order.”