In the first Test match against England, India skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that his squad lacked bravery throughout the 231-run chase.
Ollie Pope and rookie left-arm spinner Tom Hartley both had outstanding games as England defeated India by 28 runs in the first Test in Hyderabad.
With Hartley’s outstanding performance (7/62) demolishing the Indian top order and setting off a collapse that saw Rohit Sharma’s squad bowled out for 202 in the last over of the day, India’s second innings chase of 231 runs took a turn for the worst. England has established a 1-0 lead in the five-match series after this victory.
India has now lost four home Test matches since 2013 and has never before lost in Hyderabad, a city with two stadiums.
India’s strategy throughout the pursuit was a complete contrast to Pope’s combative attitude with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. Despite their strength, the spin pair was unable to leave their mark on a surface that was not very spin-friendly.
The home team was in the game for a considerable amount of play, as India skipper Rohit Sharma correctly observed. Ollie Pope’s aggressive 196-run effort proved to be the game-changer for the English team after India had taken a commanding 190-run lead against them in the first innings.
It’s difficult to determine where things went wrong. With a 190-point lead, we believed we were still very much in the match. During the post-match presentation, Rohit Sharma stated, “(It was) exceptional batting (by Ollie Pope), one of the best that I have seen in Indian conditions by an overseas batter.”
On a wicket that wasn’t spinning much, the Indian skipper thought the 231-run mark was doable, but the second innings’ batting effort was lackluster.
“230 seemed manageable to me; the pitch didn’t have too much of it. In order to reach the score, we didn’t bat well enough. We bowled in the appropriate spots, as I went to check. After the day is over, you evaluate the things that went well and the things that didn’t.