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"Don't think on this pitch it would have mattered so much" – Virat Kohli on winning the toss

Virat Kohli broke his four-Test losing streak on Tuesday
Virat Kohli broke his four-Test losing streak on Tuesday
Wasiq Agha
ANALYST
Modified 16 Feb 2021
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Virat Kohli downplayed the role of the toss after India beat England by 317 runs in the second Test in Chennai on Tuesday.

The Indian skipper pointed to India’s strong batting performance in the second innings as proof that the pitch held up well during the latter stages as well.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, India made the most of the conditions, piling 329 runs on a pitch that started puffing up dust from Day 1.

Following India’s win, many suggested the hosts were at an advantage having won the toss, as it allowed them to bat first on a track that became treacherous as the game progressed.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli was quick to refute such claims.

“I don’t think on this pitch it would have mattered so much. If you look at our 2nd innings on Day 3, we applied ourselves and almost got 300 hundred. We believed we can get runs on that pitch,” Kohli said.

The 32-year-old also praised his side for the way they adapted to the conditions. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane were brilliant on Day 1, while Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin took on the mantle in the second innings.

Ashwin and debutant Axar Patel also managed to pick up 15 wickets between them, while the pacers chipped in at crucial moments.

“It wasn’t unfair if the toss went either way. Both teams had to apply themselves and that’s what you want in Test cricket. Whether you’re playing on spinning tracks or tracks that have a lot of grass on it, both teams should be in the game from the first session onwards. It was exactly the case on this pitch,” Kohli said.
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When asked whether the second Test was a perfect game for India, Virat Kohli agreed, reserving special praise for the side’s batsmen.

“It is indeed. I think our application with the bat was outstanding this game. The conditions were challenging for both sides. But we showed more application, determination and grit to battle it out. We didn’t panic looking at the amount of turn and bounce on the pitch. We trusted our defence and we scored 600 runs in the 2 innings combined,” he added.

Virat Kohli looking forward to the pink-ball Test

With the series level at 1-1, both sides are looking forward to the remaining two Tests.

India need to win the series 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the World Test Championship Final, while England need to win 3-1 to book their place at the summit clash.

The third Test between the two sides will be a pink-ball affair beginning February 24, and Virat Kohli is aware of the challenge India have in front of them.

"It’s going to be challenging, there’s no doubt about it. This England side has quality. They are a quality bunch of players and we expect no easy cricket from them. We will have to keep being on our A-game relentlessly," he said.
Published 16 Feb 2021, 16:46 IST
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