IND vs ENG, 1st Test: Rohit laments India’s batting collapse after loss to England

The India captain said the top order did not take its chances which resulted in his side falling 28 short in chasing 231 runs.

Published : Jan 28, 2024 18:49 IST , HYDERABAD - 3 MINS READ

Rohit Sharma walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal.
Rohit Sharma walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal. | Photo Credit: KVS GIRI/The Hindu

Rohit Sharma walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal. | Photo Credit: KVS GIRI/The Hindu

India skipper Rohit Sharma lamented his side’s batting collapse in the second innings of the opening Test against England here on Sunday, saying it lacked the fight and character after being set a “gettable” 231-run target.

India was out for 202 to lose the match by 28 runs, completing a remarkable turnaround, a day after taking a huge 190-run first-innings lead.

Ollie Pope laid the foundation for a famous English win with a monumental knock of 196 before debutant left-arm spinner Tom Hartley finished with 7/62 in the second innings.

“Hard to pinpoint where it went wrong. With a lead of 190, we were in control but exceptional batting - probably one of the best I’ve seen in Indian conditions by an overseas player, well played Ollie Pope,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“I thought 230 was gettable but it wasn’t to be. Thought we bowled in the right areas, we analysed what went well and what didn’t. But you’ve got to take your hat off and say well played to Pope.

“Hard to look at one or two things. We didn’t bat well enough to get to that score. 20-30 runs anything is possible. The lower order fought well and showed the top order (how to do it). We didn’t take some chances but that can happen, it’s the first game of the series,” Rohit added.

England captain Ben Stokes described it as the “greatest” victory since he took over Test captaincy from Joe Root. “Since I’ve taken the captaincy on, where we are and who we’re playing against, it’s 100% our greatest victory,” Stokes said.

“My first time coming out here and being captain in these conditions. I’m a great observer, I’ve watched how India operate in the field. Absolutely thrilled for everyone, Tom Hartley nine wickets, Ollie Pope first Test back after shoulder surgery.

“Tom came into the squad for the first time, he’s heard a lot, had a lot of confidence. I was willing to give him a long spell regardless of what happened. Whether that was the reason he got seven wickets and won us the game, who knows?”

Stokes, who played a vital knock of 70 in England’s first-innings total of 246 all out, was effusive in his praise for Pope. “(Pope) Seen some special innings from Joe Root, but the whole innings on a difficult wicket, for me that’s the greatest innings by an Englishman on the subcontinent.

“If you lose, you wake up in the morning, still have a good crack and move on. We don’t fear failure. Go out and express yourself and you’ll be all right,” Stokes said.

Player of the match Pope was modest in his analysis of his epic knock, saying he was bit luckier in the second innings when he got a reprieve from Axar Patel after completing his century. “To come here to India, toughest place as a batter, and put in a winning performance, it’s head and shoulders above the rest. I got a bit luckier in the second innings, played and missed a few,” Pope said.

“Wanted to be positive with my sweep and reverse-sweep. I’ve tinkered through my career, changed my technique specifically for this series. The family have had early starts but can catch up on some sleep now.”

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