Despite conceding a 1-4 loss in the five-Test series, India skipper Virat Kohli has insisted that the final scoreline was not a true reflection of how his team competed in the five-match rubber. India went down by 118 runs in the final Test of the series at the Oval on Tuesday. Also Read - IPL 2020: Virat Kohli Heaps Praise on 'Game Changer' Yuzvendra Chahal After Spinner's Match-winning Spell vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai
“I think the 1-4 scoreline is a fair one as England played better than us but we were not outplayed barring the Lord’s Test,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony. “The kind of cricket we have played might not show on the scorecard. But both the teams know this series has been a competitive one,” he added. Also Read - IPL 2020 Report: Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal Star as Royal Challengers Bangalore Beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 10 Runs to Start Campaign With a Win
In pursuit of a mammoth target of 464, India were bowled out for 345. It couldn’t have been a more emotional farewell for Alastair Cook as he led the team off the ground amidst a thunderous standing ovation. Also Read - MATCH HIGHLIGHTS IPL 2020 Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Match 3: Chahal, Saini Star as RCB Beat SRH by 10 Runs
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Kohli said the series has been a great advertisement for Test cricket. “This has been a great advert for Test cricket. The fans will come and watch if both teams play for a win. The basic idea was to go out there and play the cricket we are supposed to do,” he said.
“England are a professional side and we realised that the game could change within two-three overs,” Kohli said. “England also don’t go for draws and they played fearless cricket and so did we. That is why you won’t see draws in these kinds of series.”
The Indian skipper was full of praise for two centurions Kl Rahul and Rishabh Pant, who raised visions of an improbable victory for the visitors on the final day. Making amends for a below-par show in the preceding Tests, Rahul (149 off 224 balls) and Pant (114 off 146 balls) scored centuries to give India hope before Adil Rashid (2/63 in 15 overs) dashed their hopes with a twin blow.
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“I think a lot of credit has to go to the two young guys (Rahul and Pant),” Kohli said. “I am delighted for both the guys and it speaks of India’s future. We did not take our opportunities.”
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The 29-year-old Indian skipper said the team can take a lot of positives from the series despite the defeat.
“We can take a lot of heart from this but we need to apply ourselves better the next time around,” he said. “There is a reason why we voted Sam (Curran) to be the Man of the series. It takes character to come in and play like that. He put England forward in the 1st and 4th Test match.”
Kohli also congratulated Cook—who had a fairytale ending to his glorious Test career. The 33-year-old bid farewell to international cricket in the most surreal way possible, bringing his 33rd ton and playing a major role in England’s win in the Oval Test. Cook—who already holds the record for playing the most number of Tests for England—with his final flourish with the bat and a score of 147 in his final Test inning, also went to the fifth spot in the list of all-time Test runs list with 12,472.
“Just one word for Cook. You have had a great career. All the best for all your future endeavours,” Kohli signed off.
(With PTI inputs)