Kohli and Root left frustrated by the rain as 'blockbuster' series starts with a draw

By Sports Desk August 08, 2021

India captain Virat Kohli and England counterpart Joe Root both agreed rain had ruined the prospect of a fascinating final day in the first Test.

No play was possible on Sunday in Nottingham due to bad weather, with India having been due to resume their second innings on 52-1 in pursuit of a target of 209.

Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara had helped the tourists come through a tricky 14-over spell late on day four, the only setback for India being the departure of KL Rahul for 26.

Despite the disappointment on not being able to capitalise on the opportunity to push for victory, Kohli was pleased with the way his team had performed at the start of the five-match series.

"We were expecting rain on days three and four, then it chooses to arrive on day five," Kohli lamented in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.

"We thought we were in a good position to have a crack at the target. It would have been a really nice, interesting day of Test cricket, one that would have been enjoyable to watch and certainly enjoyable to be a part of, so it's a shame.

"This is exactly what we wanted to do – we wanted to start strong. Heading into day five, we felt like we had our chances in front of us.

"One good partnership and you know what happens when there's only 150-odd to defend.

"It certainly felt like we were on top in the game, we bowled well enough and batted well enough to stay in the contest, then getting that lead was crucial."

Root had made sure India did not have a straightforward task batting last, his 21st Test century giving England's bowlers something to work with. He had faith in his attack to create opportunities, too, only for persistent downpours to put paid to the home side's hopes.

"It was a great Test match. I think the weather has robbed us of what could have been a very exciting final day," Root told Sky Sports.

"It bodes well for the rest of the series. Hopefully we can take some of the good stuff out of this week into the rest of it.

"Having spent a lot of time on that wicket, it felt like there were going to be nine opportunities within play. It was just making sure we were smart to get the game to go long enough.

"It felt like there was going to be that opportunity there, it's just a shame the weather won today."

Root pipped Jasprit Bumrah to the player of the match award, the latter having taken nine wickets in the contest as India's decision to pick just the one spinner worked out.

Kohli revealed that it is likely they will continue with the same policy in the remainder of the trip, starting with the second Test at Lord's.

"Most likely it will be the template for the rest of the series, but adaptability has been a strength of ours, especially when we've played away from home," he said.

"We need to adapt quickly, according to what is in front of us. Pitches, conditions, pace of the wicket and so on, but this looks like the right template moving forward.

"It’s going to be an exciting series to watch and be part of – England-India is always a blockbuster. Expect a lot of exciting cricket ahead."

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