CHENNAI: Dejected with the crushing defeat in the fifth and final Test against India at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, England skipper Alastair Cook on Tuesday asserted that it was the dropped catches that cost them the match. England dropped several catches in India’s first inning, thus allowing the hosts to register their highest Test score.
Karun Nair’s unbeaten 303 and Ravindra Jadeja’s 7 for 48 in the second innings helped India win the Test match by an innings and 75 runs in the final session of the series. With the win, the Virat Kohli led-side wrapped up the five-match Test series 4-0. Speaking in the post match presentation ceremony, Cook said, “You can't have excuses. India are the better team and they deserve to win. This was a good fifth day wicket. Turned from the rought apart from the odd ball. We weren't good enough to bat out. It was about missed opportunities.”
“We dropped crucial chances and India kept punishing us. We haven't been better than the opposition. Our catch drops have cost us. We just haven't scored enough runs and not taken wickets,” he added. The England skipper, who’s captaincy is now definitely under the scanner, also said that it was a tough dressing room to be in. “It is tough to play five Tests in six weeks. It's a tough place to come and win and we have not been good enough,” he said. Meanwhile, jubilant with the victory, Kohli said his side showed a lot of character throughout the series. "(Couldn't have asked anything more) and especially after winning the series 3-0 and performing like this.
It's an evidence of the character of this side and what the guys prepare like for a Test match, playing for the country. They take a lot of pride and it was evident in the way we batted and bowled. We wanted the youngsters to do well,” he said.
The swashbuckling Indian batsman also heaped praise on Nair and Rahul who both helped the side post their highest Test score in an innings. “KL had a good domestic season but didn't have a great outing and then comes and almost gets a double century. Karun didn't have two good Tests and then does this.
It's always tricky when you have scored 477 and then concede a lead of 281. Mentally and psychologically, it is always a dent. We knew that. We realized that once we got a couple of wickets, it will be a downward slide. They don't want to be in a position after getting so many runs and be in a losing position,” he said in the post-match presentation. Praising Jadeja, who wrecked havoc on the England batsmen, especially in the second innings, Kohli said that the all-rounder made sure the visitors were never at ease during the course of the game. “We were up against big totals and we won by an innings.
It doesn't happen too often in Tests. We work hard every day and believe in us. We don't care about what's happening outside; what matters is what each one of us thinks about the other. There's lot of respect and friendship in that dressing room and it's evident on the field. Nobody is playing for himself,” he said.
“Every time we were put under the pump, we have tightened up on giving away wickets at crucial time, especially after intervals. We have improved on that. The lower order has deflated the opposition, scoring 200+ three times, and their hard work in the nets showed. Our pace was quicker than their's (England pacers).
Even the consistency was better, and it was very proud moment for me as an Indian captain, seeing the fast bowlers stepping it on. Kudos to the hard work they have put in the past few months,” he added. Earlier, resuming Day Five at 12/0, the visitors got bundled out for 207 in the final hour of the day. Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers as he finished 10 wickets overall, including his career-best second innings figures of seven for 48. Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra all chipped in with a wicket each. Ravichandran Ashwin did not achieve any success in the second innings.