India vs England, 3rd Test: A bizarre match, admits Virat Kohli

England were bowled out for 112 and 81 and India were skittled for 145 in their first innings on a pitch that offered copious turn. “To be honest, I don’t think the quality of batting was at all up to standard from both teams. They were bundled out so as we and there was lack of application from both the sides. It was a bizarre game as I’ve never been part of a Test match where things have moved so quickly,” said Kohli in the post-match presentation ceremony to the host broadcaster.

“The ball was coming on nicely yesterday and the odd ball was turning. It was bizarre that out of 30 wickets, 21 was to straight balls. I think it was down to lapse of concentration or playing for turn and beating on the inside. Test cricket is all about it – this is a classic example of batsmen not applying themselves enough,” Kohli detailed.

The nature of the pitch was such that Ashwin and Axar Patel bowled throughout in the second innings while third spinner Washington Sundar got just one over. Kohli explained: “Bumrah said ‘I’m getting workload management while playing the game’ and Ishant said ‘I’m playing my 100th game and not getting a bowl’. Eventually, Sundar was happy that he got three balls in the whole game. He didn’t get any with the bat also – poor guy.”

Kohli heaped praise on Ashwin, who completed 400 Test wickets on this day while dismissing Jofra Archer. “We all need to stand up and be proud of what Ashwin has contributed. I told him I will call him ledge from today, he’s a modern-day legend.”

The Indian skipper also reserved some praise for Axar Patel. “A lot of people were worried when Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) got injured and now they might have been relieved. This guy (Axar) comes in and bowls faster than Jadeja at that height. I don’t know what’s with Gujaratis and left-arm spin,” he said.

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