England gave Team India a reality check as they beat them by 28 runs in the series opener of the five-match Test series on Sunday, January 28, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad.
Chasing 231 runs, none of the Indian batters opted for a counter-attack; they played it safe by just defending, a strategy which backfired as they ended up 28 runs short and got bowled out. Rohit Sharma was their highest run-scorer with 39 runs.
India had a solid 190-run lead earlier, but Ollie Pope‘s epic inning of 196 not only wiped that out but also set a hefty 231-run target for India. Rohit Sharma, in the post-match talk, looked back on the game, mentioning it wasn’t a single point he could pinpoint as the reason for the loss.
Here is what Rohit Sharma said in the post-match conference:
“Cricket is played over four days, so it’s hard to pinpoint where it went wrong. Having got a lead of 190, we thought we were very much in the game.”
Speaking on Ollie Pope’s outstanding knock, the Indian captain added:
“Exceptional batting, one of the best that I have seen in Indian conditions by an overseas batter, Ollie Pope played a brilliant knock. I thought 230 was gettable, there wasn’t too much in the pitch. We didn’t bat well enough to get to the score. I went and checked where we bowled, we bowled in the right areas.When you finish the day, you analyse what went well and what didn’t go well.”
Speaking on the Bumrah and Siraj’s partnership for the 10th wicket, Rohit added:
“I wanted them (Siraj and Bumrah) to take the game to the fifth day. 20-30 runs, anything is possible. The lower order actually fought really well there and showed the top-order that you need to fight it out.”