Kohli admits selection blunder, brushes off his fitness concerns play

August 12, 2018

LONDON: Virat Kohi has admitted India got their selection wrong for the Lord’s Test, after they went with two spinners in a match that was dominated by seam bowling, but said he was “not very proud” of the way the team folded to an innings defeat in less than two day’s playing time.

Despite the first day being washed out, India still changed the balance of their side by leaving out Umesh Yadav and bringing in left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav. The absence of a third frontline seamer was clear when they couldn’t keep the pressure one England when they reduced them to 89 for 4 and 131 for 5 on the third day to threaten a fightback having been skittled for 107.

“The weather was unpredictable, it was different when we started then it changed suddenly, [but] I think we got the combination a bit off before the game. We have a chance to correct that next game. Two-nil down the only option is to come out positive, make it 2-1 and make it an exciting series from there.”

Kohli refused to use conditions as an excuse for India’s innings-and-159-run defeat despite both days they batted being cloudy with spells of rain, while the third day – when England were at the crease – was the sunniest day of the game.

“I’m not very proud of the way we played do be honest, this is the first time in last five Tests that we’ve been outplayed and credit has to go to England,” he said. “They were clinical with the ball, bat and in the field. When a team plays like that they deserve to be on the winning side.

“You can’t really think about these things [conditions] when you are playing the game, it is what it is, you have to counter the conditions when they come to you. You can’t sit in the dressing room and crib about these things. Sometimes the rub of the green goes your way as well, that’s part of the game. When it doesn’t a quality side will make it count and England did that. Even when the ball is doing a bit you have to pitch it in the right areas and they were relentless.”

To compound India’s problems, Kohli was hampered on the fourth back by a back problem which meant he came in at No. 5 having been off the field when England continued batting at the start of the day. He was clearly in discomfort at the crease and fell when he gloved a delivery from Stuart Broad to short leg. However, he remained confident he would be fit for the third Test which starts at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

“I should be okay, there are five days to go,” he said. “It’s a little lower back issue which has becoming on again due to the workload and the number of games I’ve played in the last few years. You’ve still got to stay on top of that, work as hard as you go, do rehab and a bit of strength work. I’m confident I’ll be fine.” Agencies