Chennai, Feb 9 (IANS) India skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday lashed out on the quality of balls as well as the uneconomical bowling of spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar following team’s 227-run defeat in the first Test against England here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
England, after winning the toss, posted a massive first-innings score of 578, riding on a 218-run knock from skipper Joe Root and notable contributions of 87 and 82 from Dominic Sibley and Ben Stokes.
“It (wicket) was flat and slow. The quality of balls honestly wasn’t something that we were pleased to see because that has been the issue in the past as well. Just for the ball to get destroyed in 60 overs is not something that you experience as a Test side and it is not something any Test side could be prepared for. That was the reality of the first two days. But having said that, it is no excuse. England played better than us, they deserved it (to win),” said Kohli while speaking to the media after the match.
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Monday had too complained about the balls, saying they were tearing through the seam after 40-45 overs.
Kohli added that while Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Ashwin bowled well, both left-arm spinner Nadeem and off-spinner Sundar leaked far too many runs.
“If you talk about fast bowlers and Ashwin, they bowled consistently in good areas. The three of them. But I think if Washy (Washington Sundar) and Shahbaz (Nadeem) would have bowled those economical spells, the pressure created would have been more. The situation would have been different. The opposition would have scored 80-90 runs less,” said the Indian skipper.
“Plus, if you see from the batting point of view in first innings, if you have add 70-80 runs more, the match reaches in an equal stage.
In reply to England’s 578, India managed 337, thus conceding a massive 241-run lead.
“The Test shifted in their favour when we batted in the first innings. We were looking to bat long and were not able to do that. I don’t think there was enough application shown by us as a batting unit. (It’s) something that we take a lot of pride in. When you get big runs on the board even when the wicket is flat, the opposition is invariably put under pressure,” said Kohli.
The two teams will next face each other in the second Test at the same venue beginning from Saturday.