One of the worst things a sportsman can do to the sport he plays is to not admit the follies in his game. Virat Kohli just did that when he said the spinners weren’t outperformed by the England spinners. He said England would have won had their spinners outperformed the Indian spinners. What that comment is supposed to mean? England are the visitors and are playing in alien conditions. They were considered the underdogs in the series. India have just won a home series 3-0. If despite these factors, England were able to dominate most of the sessions, it is tantamount to outperforming India. Virat Kohli’s assertion that India were not outperformed because England didn’t win is a funny excuse to save face.
R Ashwin, the pick of the Indian bowlers, gave away 167 runs in the first innings, taking only two wickets. He took a wicket in second innings for 63 runs. Jadeja gave away 133 runs in the match for 3 wickets. Amit Mishra took 3 wickets in the match. Many of these wickets were taken after the England batsmen had done their jobs. They scored 537 runs in the first innings and 260 in the second innings.
The England spinners, however, did their job on a flat wicket as it was. Adil Rashid took 7 wickets in the match. All crucial wickets that almost brought India to their knees. In the first innings, if Ashwin (bowling all-rounder) had not scored a half-century in the first innings, India would have lost the match for certain.
In India’s second innings also, Adil Rashid took three wickets. Captain Virat Kohli himself and the lower order somehow extricated India out of a dire situation. There wasn’t a moment in the match when the danger of losing was not there on India. And England spinners kept up the pressure. Isn’t it outperforming?
Indian fielders were pathetic in the first innings. They dropped 5 catches in the first innings. 4 of the catches came of Umesh Yadav’s bowling, who bowled beautifully. If India had taken those catches, India might have won the Test. England also dropped a few catches. But the number was far lesser. England fielders were much better than Indian fielders.
Except Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay, the rest of the Indian batsmen were rusty. They were edging balls. It was the lower order that did well. R Ashwin, Saha, Jadeja, Amit Mishra chipped in with runs and saved the day for India in the first innings. In the second innings, captain Kohli held his nerves. He was well supported by the middle and lower order when India lost early wickets in the second innings. They somehow saved the Test. Had England captain Alastair Cook declared some 10 overs early, the result might have gone in England’s favour.