Captain praises Rahul & Rishabh

Captain Virat Kohli was certainly disconsolate as India, already having lost the series against England, lost the inconsequential fifth and final Test as well despite the valiant efforts of Lokesh Rahul and Rishabh Pant.

By Our Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 12.09.18
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 Rishabh Pant is congratulated by Lokesh Rahul after the former reached his century at The Oval on Tuesday

Calcutta: Captain Virat Kohli was certainly disconsolate as India, already having lost the series against England, lost the inconsequential fifth and final Test as well despite the valiant efforts of Lokesh Rahul and Rishabh Pant.

Despite his disappointment, Kohli was effusive in his praise for Rahul and Pant for their counter-attacking 204-run stand for the sixth wicket that did give England a bit of a scare.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Kohli said: "A lot of credit has to go to both those young guys as they stepped up at such a difficult stage. At one stage we were three wickets down for just two runs.

"Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) got stuck in with Rahul first. But the way Rahul and Rishabh, they really showed character... It also underlined the kind of character in the team and the kind of cricket we've played in the series.

"It might not show on the scoreboard, but both sides know it has been a competitive series. It has taken a lot out of both sides and it's something we've really enjoyed.

"We've taken up the challenge head on, and today was an example of two guys not giving up and actually entertaining the crowd. This is probably the revival of Test cricket again and it shows people what it means to all of us and for people watching as well, it's a great advertisement for Test cricket."

Kohli admitted that India had not talked about whether they would go for the win on the final day or not. But the partnership between Rahul and Rishabh briefly gave them a hope of an improbable victory.

"The basic idea was to go out there and play the cricket we are known to play. When those two guys started hitting the ball, we thought there might be hope. There were overs left and both those guys were scoring freely.

"We knew England are a professional side and we were just waiting and watching. Things can change in Test cricket and we realised that as the game changed within two-three overs. And that is the beauty of the format.

"But it takes nothing away from the two guys," Kohli emphasised.

Elaborating on Rishabh, the skipper added: "He showed a lot of grit and character. We have character in the team and we just need some experience to close out games.

"I was thinking when I was watching him that when you get into a zone and are not thinking about the result, things do go your way. It was just a great preview of what's in store for Rishabh individually and for Indian cricket.

"I am delighted for both the guys and it speaks of India's future. There will be some things that we will sit down and discuss."