India vs England: Batting collapses not due to flaw in technique - Virat Kohli

India’s top-order batsmen Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul as well as No 5 Ajinkya Rahane are under pressure after they all flopped, negating Virat Kohli’s brilliant 149 in the first innings and top-score of 51 in the second at Edgbaston.

cricket Updated: Aug 08, 2018 23:42 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, London
India vs England,Virat Kohli,Edgbaston
Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli during nets at Lord’s.(Action Images via Reuters)

India skipper Virat Kohli cautioned against jumping into conclusions over the batting failures in the narrow Edgbaston Test defeat and urged his batsmen to show composure initially as a batting unit in the second game starting at Lord’s on Thursday.

“We should not judge so fast, jump into conclusions,” he said on Wednesday. “As a team, we keep patience. We don’t judge so fast. We don’t see any pattern to (the failures). As far as wickets falling in a heap is concerned, it’s not about technique, it is more of a mental aspect.

“It depends on how you think about it after the dismissal. There must be a clear plan on how to face the first 20-30 balls; more often than not that plan does not involve aggression. There we need some composure. As a batting unit we have discussed that.

“From outside it looks very bad, especially it is Test cricket and we are playing in England, where it is anyway difficult (due to seaming conditions). But we only need to bring down the margin of error. Beyond that we don’t need to worry too much.”

India’s top-order batsmen Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul as well as No 5 Ajinkya Rahane are under pressure after they all flopped, negating Kohli’s brilliant 149 in the first innings and top-score of 51 in the second.

India have not ruled out playing a second spinner, but Kohli said it was not easy to decide. “It could be a tempting thought. The pitch looks very hard, the surface very dry. It has been very hot in London for the last couple of months. There is good grass cover in it and that is required basically to keep the wicket together.

The pitch is going to be an all-round one; if batsmen bat well they can get runs, obviously the Dukes ball in overcast conditions (will come into play), and when the wicket wears off, the spinners can come in. It is a tempting thought to field two spinners, but we have to take a call on that depending on the team balance. But two spinners are definitely in contention.”

The Edgbaston Test was the third occasion when Virat Kohli’s brilliant century as skipper went in vain, after his second-innings 141 against Australia at Adelaide on the 2014-15 tour and the 153 in the second Test at Centurion against South Africa in January too ended in losses.

The India skipper said he would rather do well than not.

“It doesn’t hurt when you score runs and don’t win. It hurts when you are not scoring runs as well, and the team is not doing well. If I hadn’t got the runs and we had won, I would have got a totally different feeling, a very natural aspect of playing team sport. My job as a batsman when I go out there is to score runs as a team.

I am trying my level best to do that whenever possible. It is not going to happen every time, but when it does I want to try and contribute as much as possible.

“It is unfortunate we haven’t been able to cross the line after coming so close, that is the only thing we are looking at. It doesn’t matter whether I get the runs or Jinks (Rahane) does or Vijay does or KL Rahul does. As long as we cross the line, that is the only thing that matters.”

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 19:30 IST