India skipper Virat Kohli rued the lack of technical application from the batsmen after the host side thrashed England by 10 wickets in the third Test at Motera in a two-day affair.
Speaking after what was the shortest completed Test match since 1935, Kohli said: “To be honest, I don’t think the quality of batting was at all up to standard from both teams. The ball was coming on nicely yesterday and the odd ball was turning. The batting was below-par from both sides. It was bizarre that out of 30 wickets, 21 was to straight balls.”
“It was down to a lapse of 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,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
With the series level at 1-1 and a World Test Championship (WTC) final spot at stake, Kohli relied on his spinners to get the job done on a deteriorating pitch. Ravichandran Ashwin picked up his 400th Test wicket while Axar Patel finished with an 11-wicket haul. Kohli acknowledged the duo’s record-breaking hauls. “A lot of people were relieved when Jaddu got injured that this guy (Axar) comes in and bowls faster than Jadeja at that height. I don’t know what’s with Gujaratis and left-arm spin. We all need to stand up and be proud of what Ashwin has contributed. I told him I will call him leg (legend) from today, he’s a modern-day legend,” Kohli said.
India is sitting atop the World Test Championship table while England has been knocked out of the race.
Here’s what Joe Root had to say after the match.
“We were 70 for 2 in the first innings. But we didn’t capitalize on the start after winning the toss. 250 on that wicket would have been a good score. We will come come back as a better team. The plastic coating on the ball gathered pace off the wicket. It was high quality bowling as well. Both sides struggled on that wicket. We don’t define ourselves on a performance like this. We shouldn’t have any baggage from the previous games going into the last game. Also, congratulations to Ishant Sharma for 100 Tests and R. Ashwin for 400 Test wickets. I think that this surface was a very challenging one. It is not for players to decide whether it is fit for purpose or not and that is up to the ICC.”