After scripting a thrilling win in the second Test against England, India skipper Virat Kohli said the toss wouldn’t have mattered much in the game.
India levelled the four-match Test series 1-1 against England after an emphatic 317-run win in the second Test here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday.
India had won the toss and opted to bat first in the second Test. The hosts scored 329 in their first innings and 286 runs in the second essay. However, England wasn’t able to get into the groove in the second Test as they failed to even get past the 200-run mark.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan on Sunday had raised questions over the Chennai pitch as the Joe Root-led side crumbled to 134 in their first innings. Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen had sarcastically questioned the “brave wicket” prepared for the second Test.
But Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin hit fifty and a century respectively on a turning track which has assisted spinners to show batting wasn’t that difficult as it was claimed to be by former cricketers.
“The conditions were challenging for both sides, but we showed more application with the bat. We didn’t panic out there looking at the turn and bounce, we showed grit, got into the game and scored 600 runs in the game. We know our bowlers would do the job for us if we put up these runs,” Kohli told host broadcaster Star Sports.
“The toss wouldn’t have mattered much in this game to be honest, because if you looked at our second innings, we got 300 as well. It wasn’t unfair if the toss went either way. Both teams should be in the game from the first session onwards, whether it is on spinning to seaming tracks, and that exactly was the case in this game,” he added.
Rishabh Pant pulled off a brilliant stumping earlier in the morning to draw the first blood on day four. Kohli praised Pant for his hard work and said the side wants him to improve as a keeper.
“Rishabh Pant has really worked hard in Australia, when he moves with the gloves you can see the difference in his reactions. He has shed a lot of weight and has worked hard on himself,” said Kohli.
“It is showing, the way he kept with so much turn and bounce, credit to him. We want him to keep improving as a keeper because we know the value he brings to the team,” he added.
India remains in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship after completing an impressive victory over England in the second Test to draw level in the four-match series.
The victory in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted India to the second position with 69.7 percentage points on the points table but they cannot afford to lose another match as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship.
England, who led the table after winning the opening Test, has slipped to the fourth spot with 67.0 percentage points. They can still qualify, but for that, they must win both remaining matches of the series against India.