Virat Kohli confident India can hit back after first Test defeat to England

Virat Kohli scored a brilliant 149 at Edgbaston, but still ended up on the losing side. (AFP)
Updated 04 August 2018
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Virat Kohli confident India can hit back after first Test defeat to England

  • England win first Test after an enthralling four days in Birmingham
  • Kohli claims India will come back stronger in second Test at Lord's next week

Virat Kohli has told England to expect a much-improved India when the two sides face each other again in the second Test next week at Lord’s.

The India skipper was speaking after England beat his side by 31 runs in a thrilling first Test at Edgbaston. The tourists started the day on 110 for five needing 84 runs for victory. But is was not to be as the hosts took the five wickets they needed to take an early lead in the five-match series. 

But Kohli was not too downbeat and promised that India would come back harder next week. 

“The series is set up nicely now. The fact we didn’t play to our potential and were still close in the game says everything about our side,” the India captain said. 

“Both afternoon sessions on day two and three were see-saw battles. We thought we were out of the game, then came back, then England thought they were out of the game, then came back.”

That Kohli ended up on the losing side is perhaps a tad unfair. His brilliant 149 in the first innings was as good an innings as he has produced in his stellar career so far. But he said it meant nothing without victory. 

“My century feels just like any hundred I score. When I was younger I used to think about playing in different countries, different countries,” he said. 

“But now as captain I just think about getting my team across the line. You’re able to bat longer and just think about the team.”

James Anderson took the wicket of Dinesh Karthik with the sixth ball of the day and from then on it was always going to be tough for the tourists. Three wickets from Ben Stokes — including the vital one of Kohli, trapped LBW for 51 — and one from Adil Rashid were enough to finish the job, bowing India out for 162, to leave their skipper a relieved man.

“This win fills us with confidence and it’s a great start to the series for us. It shows it’s about inner belief and steeliness not just about wickets and runs,” Joe Root said. 

“We have to make sure we turn up with the same attitude and approach and tighten up on a few things for Lord’s.

“There was always something in it for the bowlers, it wasn’t freescoring at any time and credit has to go to both sides’ bowling attacks.

“(This was a great match), from start to finish, it swung both ways throughout. Credit to India, they played some fantastic cricket along the way.

“I’m so proud of the group, we just wanted to show that fight and desire of the three previous days and we did.”


India rout Pakistan by eight wickets in Asia Cup clash

Updated 19 September 2018
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India rout Pakistan by eight wickets in Asia Cup clash

  • Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-15) and part time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav (3-23) sent Pakistan collapsing
  • Both Pakistan and India had already qualified for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup and will meet again in Dubai on Sunday

DUBAI: India crushed Pakistan by eight wickets in their long-awaited Asia Cup match which failed to live up to its hype in Dubai on Wednesday.
Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-15) and part time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav (3-23) sent Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, collapsing to just 162 all out in 43.1 overs at Dubai Stadium.
Skipper Rohit Sharma then struck three sixes and six boundaries in his 39-ball 52 while fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a six and six fours in his 54-ball 46 as India romped home in 29 overs.
Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik both finished on 31 not out as India exacted some revenge for their humbling 180-run defeat against their arch-rivals in the final of the Champions Trophy in London last year -- the most recent match between the teams until Wednesday.
Both Pakistan and India had already qualified for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup and will meet again in Dubai on Sunday.
Bangladesh and Afghanistan meet in Abu Dhabi in the last Group B match on Thursday, having already qualified for the second round after Sri Lanka crashed out.
The top two teams from the Super Fours will play the final in Dubai on September 28.
Once Pakistan's unpredictable batting crumbled, Wednesday's match turned into a damp squib for a near-capacity crowd comprising of Indian and Pakistani expats living in the United Arab Emirates.
Kumar ran through the top order by dismissing openers Imam-ul-Haq (two) and Fakhar Zaman (nought) inside five overs, before Babar Azam (47) and Shoaib Malik (43) rebuilt the innings during their 82-run stand for the third wicket.
But after Azam was dismissed in the 22nd over, bowled by left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, Pakistan lost their last seven wickets for 77 runs.
Azam hit six boundaries in his 62-ball knock while Malik, dropped on 26 by MS Dhoni off Hardik Pandya, cracked one six and one four in a vigilant innings which lasted 67 balls.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (six) became Jadhav's first wicket, holing out to long-on where substitute fielder Maneesh Pandey completed a brilliant catch, throwing the ball back into the field to avoid running over the rope and completing the catch.
But it was Malik's run out which derailed Pakistan, sent back by Asif Ali after setting off for a quick single.
Paceman Jasprit Bumrah took 2-23 but India lost all-rounder Hardik Pandya to injury.
Bowling his fifth over, Pandya fell in his follow through and was stretchered off with a lower back injury, the extent of which was being assessed by the India team's medical staff.