Rajkot Test: Ravindra Jadeja gets another Test lesson on home ground
The first of the five-match Test series between India and England, ended in a draw, but the result did not come about without the Indian camp experiencing some anxious moments at the SCA stadium in Rajkot
Rajkot: The first of the five-match Test series between India and England, ended in a draw yesterday, but the result did not come about without the Indian camp experiencing some anxious moments at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium in Rajkot.
India were 172 for the loss of six wickets when the players shook hands, three balls into the final over after England set them a target of 310 runs for victory in 49 overs. England had declared their second innings at 260-3 half an hour after lunch.
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"It was a challenging situation but I think we countered it well," insisted skipper Virat Kohli. He appeared to be in a mood to convince the media that it was not all that stressful as they assumed it to be.
"Sometimes, even on flat wickets the situations become such that you tend to make mistakes. And then it looks as if the wicket is doing a lot more. Because we lost few wickets to the spinners, it looked like that the ball would rip through from good length area, but nothing of that sort happened. I can say that because I was there in the middle to know it," Kohli said.
India have not been used to opposition putting them in a tight corner at home. Last season, South Africa never gave the impression of winning the series, and likewise recent tourists New Zealand lost all the three Tests against Kohli's army.
Yesterday, the hosts couldn't say they were not under pressure. "I talked to (Ravindra) Jadeja that it is an opportunity for us to improve another aspect of our game because in Test cricket, we will have similar situations again where we'll have to apply ourselves, show character, play percentage cricket and play for a draw," added the skipper.
Kohli led from the front, staying unbeaten on 49 along with homeboy Jadeja who had 32 against his name when the curtains came down on Rajkot's debut Test. However, England spinners Adil Rashid (3-64), Moeen Ali (1-47) and Zafar Ansari (1-41) had done enough to create some panic in the Indian dressing room. After all, 132-6 is not a pretty sight on the scoreboard for a team that is on top of the Test rankings.
Meanwhile, England skipper Alastair Cook was happy at his 260-3 declaration, no matter how late the pundits felt it was. "Maybe on hindsight, 260-270 (target), would have been enough and it would have given us few more overs to bowl at them, but I thought it was a fair declaration as it was the first game of the series," said Cook.
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