By Khurram Habib
Ahmedabad, Feb 25 : India skipper Virat Kohli lamented the quality of batting from India and England in the third Test that saw teams getting bowled out for low scores in the first three completed innings and the pink ball Test finishing inside two days at the reconstructed stadium at Motera.
“To be honest, I don’t think the quality of batting was at all up to standard from both teams to be honest. They were bundled out and there was lack of application from both the sides. The ball was coming on nicely yesterday and the odd ball was turning and it was a good wicket to bat on in the first innings. The batting was below-par from both sides,” said Kohli, who became India’s most successful Test captain at home, surpassing MS Dhoni’s record of 21 wins at home.
Kohli has led India in 29 home Tests, winning 22 while Dhoni won 21 of the 30 homes matches he led in.
Kohli added that most of the batsmen fell to straight balls or to those that didn’t turn and that the wicket wasn’t to blame.
“It was bizarre that out of 30 wickets, 21 were to straight balls. It was down to lapse in concentration or playing for turn and beating on the inside. Test cricket is all about it – this is a classic example of batsmen not applying themselves enough,” he said.
On a pitch that helped spinners from the first session of the match, Indian pace bowlers had to do very little.
“Bumrah said I’m getting workload management while playing the game and Ishi (Ishant Sharma) said ‘I am playing my hundredth game and not getting a bowl’. Eventually, he (Washington Sundar) was happy that he (at least) got three balls. He didn’t get any with the bat also — poor guy. Bizarre game — I’ve never been part of a Test match where things have moved so quickly,” added Kohli.
Kohli said Axar Patel, who took 11 wickets for 70 runs in the third Test, bowls a lot faster than the Ravindra Jadeja, the bowler who he has replaced.
“A lot of people when Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) got injured might have been relieved but this guy (Axar) comes in and bowls faster than Jadeja from that height. I don’t know what’s with Gujaratis and left-arm spin,” he said, and acknowledged Ashwin’s feat of reaching 400 Test wickets.
“We all need to stand up and be proud of what Ashwin has contributed. I told him I will call him legend from today, he’s a modern-day legend. It was a game of quick-fire runs and quick wickets, but we’re going to prepare ourselves for the long grind. A few days off with the hectic schedule is nice as well.”
The remaining three days mean that India and England will get sufficient rest.