Test shifted in their favour during our 1st innings batting: Kohli

Chennai, Feb 09 (PTI): India’s underwhelming batting performance in the first innings gave England the decisive advantage, skipper Virat Kohli said on Tuesday and defended the decision to play rookie left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem instead of a more experienced Kuldeep Yadav.
After losing the first Test by 227 runs, Kohli admitted that the team was always under the scoreboard pressure after England’s mammoth first innings total of 578 but also said that he has no regrets about picking Nadeem over Kuldeep. “I think, Test probably shifted in their favour when we batted in the first innings. We were looking to bat better but I don’t think there was enough application shown by us as a batting unit,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference referring to India’s 337 all out first essay score. “Even if someone got a hundred in either innings, still we were pretty much behind in the game. There’s not one way to play the game and we understand that quite well and our endeavour in the future games is going to be long partnerships,” said Kohli. Kuldeep’s absence was a talking point through the Test but Kohli gave his reasons as to why he wouldn’t like to revisit his decision.
“…when you are playing two off-spinners, Kuldeep more or less becomes a similar kind of spinner (bringing it into the right-handers). So, we needed variety. We were quite clear what combination we wanted to play, and there are no regrets whatsoever.”
Kohli wasn’t amused when asked whether the England team, coming off a series win in Sri Lanka, was far better prepared than India, playing a Test match on home soil after the Bangladesh series in 2019.
“You could say they are well prepared but to say they are better prepared than us in our own conditions is not an accurate assessment,” Kohli, who is known for his plain speak, put it as he saw it.
“That was something that was said when Australia won the first Test (in Pune) in 2017. So look, we don’t jump the gun or come to conclusions too early as a side.

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