“I mean, [the pitch was] challenging today, and I wouldn’t be so harsh to judge them [batters] on today,” Dravid stated.
In the opening Test of the current series, England, led by Ben Stokes, stunned India at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. England performed a remarkable feat of perseverance while playing away from home, defeating the hosts by a total of 28 runs.
India needed 231 runs under Rohit Sharma’s leadership to win the match and take the lead in the series. However, India lost the match disappointingly after being bowled out for 202 runs.
Speaking on the defeat, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid expressed his belief that the team scored 70–80 runs below what was required. He also discussed how the pitch was difficult, leaving the batters with no leverage.
“Well, the pitch was difficult today, so I wouldn’t be too hard on the batters for today. On day two, when conditions were favorable for batting, I actually felt that we left almost 70 runs on the board in the first innings. I believed that we got off to some strong starts in those kinds of circumstances and failed to really capitalize. We did not receive a score of 100, nor did we receive a special score of 100 for ourselves. At the press conference following the game, Dravid stated, “So in some ways I think I just felt we left those 70-80 runs back in the hut in the first innings.”
The game-changing factor was Pope’s innings: Dravid
Dravid also praised Ollie Pope for his enormous innings, which caused the Indian squad to fall well behind. It’s fascinating to note that England set a high scoring goal for the hosts to chase thanks to Pope’s 196 runs in 278 deliveries.
It’s likely that we ought not to have pursued 232. A truly remarkable innings to force us to pursue that many runs. Yes, I believe that Pope’s innings made the biggest difference in the game. I believe that’s what made us lose ground; he made a lot of daring shots and did them quite well. And that’s amazing; 196 on a wicket like that, when no one else scored 50, changed the course of the match,” Dravid remarked.