Sanjay Bangar, the Indian batting coach, praised his captain Virat Kohli’s fabulous century but also believes that some other batsmen should have also carried the good start which was provided by the openers.
Cricket news: India were down to 182 for 8 when a captain’s knock took their score to 274
India started their innings on a positive note when openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan got off to a good start and scored 50/0 after the hosts were dismissed for 287.
However wickets started falling in regular intervals except for Virat Kohli and the tail-enders, who stood firm to tackle the English fast bowlers.
Left arm pacer Sam Curran was the chief destroyer as he quickly picked up three wickets, while other pacers Ben Stokes and James Anderson chipped in later on.
“Once we got a good start, we should’ve capitalised on it,” Bangar said. “But the openers handled the new ball really well, and the angles that were created by Sam Curran – credit to him that he could create those angles.
“England is used to playing in these conditions and we don’t really play in these conditions too often, but the gap is a mere 18  runs. Definitely the game is really well placed and the wicket which we got close to the end of day’s play has put the game in a very, very good balance,” he added.
Curran took three wickets in a gap of just nine runs as his inswinger got Vijay out, while KL Rahul dragged a wide full ball back to the stumps and Dhawan was also caught by the swing.
Things even got worse when Ajinkya Rahane edged a delivery from Ben Stokes to the slip cordon while a full inswinger from Stokes pegged back the middle stump of Dinesh Karthik.
It was the captain Virat Kohli who stood out from the rest and anchored deep to score a scintillating 149 to take India’s score close to the first innings of England, giving the hosts a slender 13 runs lead.
Bangar was in full praise for the captain and his innings, but on the same hand he also added that the other batsmen will now look to correct the mistakes they have made.
“He showed terrific discipline I felt. At no instance did he reach out for the ball, and probably couple of our other batsmen reached out, which caused their downfall. But that is something which we’ve been speaking of, practicing quite a lot. And on days, these things come off and on certain days those things don’t come out as a batter. Definitely the batsmen are aware and are taking all efforts to correct the errors.
“He’s a versatile player. At times, quality players keep on assessing their own games and where they want to progress. The awareness that is required under certain conditions, but he does that really well. Again, terrific disciplne. When he bats in that fashion, he more often than not gets the team into good positions. Passing an individual landmark doesn’t mean much to him, more than that,if it’s good day for him, he makes sure it’s a great day for him and the team. That’s why he got 149 and it narrowed down the gap beautifully.”