Vizag Test: Captains discuss tactics after India's impressive win

Tags: England tour of India 2016 -17, India, England, Alastair Nathan Cook, Virat Kohli

Published on: Nov 22, 2016

Post India's victory over England in the second Test at Vizag by 246 runs, which enabled them to take a 1-0 lead, Indian skipper and man of the match Virat Kohli opined that England's

Post India's victory over England in the second Test at Vizag by 246 runs, which enabled them to take a 1-0 lead, Indian skipper and man of the match Virat Kohli opined that England's decision to go ultra defensive proved beneficial for India. England's openers batted at a snail's pace to add 75 in 50 overs on the penultimate day, but lost their last eight wickets on the final day, without putting up much of a fight. Kohli stated that he was surprised with the lack of intent shown by England batsmen in the fourth innings.
"We thought they would come out with more intent, to be honest. And to see them approach that they had obviously gave us assurance that once we get a couple of wickets, it will crumble pretty quickly because there wasn't much intent from the batsmen," the Indian captain told the press. Although Alastair Cook and Haseeb Hameed frustrated Indian bowlers for the better part of day four, the Indian spinners were successful in dismissing them before end of day's play.
Elaborating on the period of play Kohli said, "It was a test of our patience. We knew that they are going to try and annoy us by playing like this and hope that we lose that our cool, bowl with different plans and do too many things, which we did not. We maintained a similar field throughout." Kohli also revealed how Cheteshwar Pujara played a key role in Cook's last-over dismissal. "It's just that in the last over, the suggestion came from Pujara that we could try probably a different field, have two more on the leg side and make him really defend well in the last six balls. Put a bit of doubt in his head, and it worked," Kohli explained.
"He tried to play in front of his pad, not close to the body. That's it, little margins can give you the game. I think that was a crucial breakthrough we needed and end of day's play as well, so the new batsman did not get to face any more deliveries. He knew first thing in the morning, four more balls to go in the over and he's straightaway under pressure. As a batsman, I know that for a fact. It was a pretty crucial dismissal that for us and it really set the tone for us today," the Indian captain went on to add.
On his own success in the Test, Kohli added, "The plan was to have intent. It is only if you have intent that you will be able to play the ball accordingly because you are looking to play with the bat. If you don't have intent, and you are looking to control the ball, and if it does something, then you are in no position to control it. So the edges fly off and you are not in position."
"If you are looking for runs, you defend well because your head is on the ball as well. So that was the idea to get runs as the pitch gets tougher to bat on, show intent and keep getting runs in between, extend the lead so the opposition feels the heat of those 30-40 runs," he went on to say.
England skipper Cook, on the other hand, defended the team's tactics, stating they were playing according to the situation. "We set our stall out pretty clearly that from the start of the innings that we wanted to take it as deep as possible. We saw in one game, South Africa played 140-odd overs. If we got to play 150-odd overs then we could have saved the game." Cook explained.
Continuing in his defence, Cook added, "Often in those circumstances, you just say, 'well I'll just play and we'll see where we end up at.' We made a conscious effort to play that way. Everyone bought into it. It's not some people's natural way of playing. But you say, 'play your natural way and suddenly you're four down then lower order start digging in and you think, 'why didn't we start that right at the beginning of the game'."
--By A Cricket Correspondent

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