After collapsing to just 78 in the first innings, the task was always mountainous for the visitors, with the hosts putting on a show with the bat (432 runs) in their first innings. Trailing by 354 runs in the second innings, India got off to the wrong start with the loss of KL Rahul but the fruitful partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli kept the things going for the visitors.
However, with the new ball, the hosts put India on the backfoot, with the early loss of Pujara in the day before the bowlers started picking up the momentum, leaving India in shambles. The Indian skipper, following the loss, put the collapse down to the English bowlers and the scoreboard pressure, which he admitted forced the mistakes from the Indian batters.
"Basically down to scoreboard pressure. Always up against it when you get out for under 80, and the opposition puts up such a big score. But we did well to stay in the game yesterday, fight back as much as we could, and gave ourselves a chance. But the pressure today was outstanding from the England bowlers and eventually they got the results they wanted. [First innings] Quite bizarre, it can happen in this country, batting collapses,” Kohli stated in the presentation.
Kohli also stated that the pitch was great to bat on for both sides but admitted to India not being able to withstand the relentless pressure.
“We thought the pitch was good to bat on, coming on nicely. But the discipline forced mistakes and the pressure was relentless. Difficult to cope when you're not scoring runs. That caused the batting order to crumble. [Toss decision] No, pitch looked good to bat on, when England batted it was a different ball game because we weren't as good with the ball.”
The Indian skipper reckoned that the batting group has to stay close and confident. While there is a strong possibility that India might include either of Shardul Thakur or Ravichandran Ashwin into the mix, Kohli stated that the combinations will be made after looking at the conditions.
“As a batting group we need to stay close and confident, even after 36 all out [in Australia] we came back. [Selection for Oval] Depends on the pitch, assess the surface, how much moisture and our decision will be based on that. I think this template works, the four seamers [in these conditions]. For sure, we set the template, you're playing Test cricket, and we've bounced back in the past.”