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.”