India suffered a shocking 28-run defeat on Day 4 of the first Test match against England on Sunday. Despite taking a 190-run lead in the first innings, the hosts fell to pull off a result after an unexpected middle order collapsed at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Ollie Pope’s sensational hundred and then seven-wicket haul from left-arm spinner Tom Hartley guided England to a deserving win to kick off a crucial five-match series in some style. Apart from England’s obvious superior performance, the hosts also need to be blamed for conceding a first-ever Test match defeat after having a 100-plus lead at home.
India head coach Rahul Dravid faced the media in the post-match press conference in Hyderabad and explained the reasons behind India’s loss. He highlighted India’s lack of runs in the second innings and also added that India fell 70 runs short in the first innings.
“I thought we left probably 70 runs on the board in the first innings,” Rahul Dravid said in a press conference. “You know, I think in our first innings, when conditions were pretty good to bat in on day two, I thought in the kinds of situations we got ourselves into, some good starts and we didn’t really capitalise.
“We didn’t get a hundred, you know, we didn’t get somebody getting a really big hundred for us. So, in some ways, in India, I just felt we left those 70, and 80 runs back in the hut in the first innings. The second innings is always going to be challenging. It’s one of those things that, you know, it’s tough. It’s not easy to chase 230 or it’s not done very often.”
When asked about India’s struggles in the middle order, the former cricketer defended inexperienced players. With Kohli taking a break and veteran Ajinkya Rahane, and Cheteshwar Pujara out, the new-look middle order clearly lacked experience in chasing a 231-run target in the fourth innings.
However, Dravid pointed out the difficulty of chasing in the last innings and said that the youngsters deserve their place after impressing in domestic cricket.
“To be fair, there have been challenging wickets as well over the last few years. And it’s been a bit of a challenge for some of our young batsmen to adapt. But they’ve got the skill and they’ve got the ability, and they’ve not come here just like that; they’ve come here by scoring a lot of runs in domestic cricket, doing well in A-team cricket. So, you know, they are being picked on merit,” Dravid added.