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Not Many Negatives, Have to Take Heart Going Into Final Test: Kohli

Cricketnext Staff | September 3, 2018, 9:14 AM IST

A dejected Virat Kohli credited England for a stupendous third innings performance which helped the hosts seal the series with a 60-run victory in the fourth Test at Southampton on Sunday (September 2).

"I thought England did well to give us that target. They batted well in third innings. Seeing how the pitch was, how the ball was turning, they applied themselves. I don't think we made too many mistakes today. Credit to them. Usually, with a big partnership, you're always in the chase. But we were always under the pump, We felt the passion of eleven players on the field, wanting to win the Test match for their country. I and Rahane had the same passion. That's the beauty of Test cricket." said Kohli in the post-match presentation.

However, the Indian captain defended his team saying there weren't many negatives in the performance.

"I thought about my dismissal as well in the first innings, if I had carried on we would've got a larger lead. Nothing to take away from Pujara. He played so well to get us that lead. There weren't many negatives for us from this game. We need to focus on positives and have to take heart going into the final Test. They were braver in tough situations than us. Those contributions from lower-order have been significant.

"I would like to congratulate Sam Curran, a nice find for England and he's doing well. Joe (Root) was saying, it might not look like it but it has been a competitive series. We won't throw in the towel, we will come out with the same intensity at The Oval," he added.

England captain Joe Root said his team showed great character and heaped praise on youngster Sam Curran who proved to be a game-changer for the team.

"He has been brilliant, not just in this game but throughout the series. For a young guy to have such an influence is outstanding. Credit to the group, they were outstanding throughout. Character has been a massive strength of this team. For the seamers, it was about hitting the surface as hard as possible and for spinners, it was about being as aggressive as possible.

The skipper also praised Moeen Ali for his effort in the game. The all-rounder was awarded player of the match for his five-wicket haul in the first and four wickets in the second innings.

"Bit of time away from this environment can help. Have spoken with Mo about that. Today was probably the best I've seen him bowl in an England shirt. Really excites me. When you're in the form he's in, it's a nice luxury to have. We do bat deep. Has been a great strength for us this series," Root said.

Moeen Ali, who gave England the opening with the wicket of Virat Kohli just before Lunch on the day, reckoned the time away from the game was important. He finished with 9/134 in the game which proved to be the difference in the end.

"It feels great to be back. I have missed Test cricket a lot but I needed a break just to appreciate everything in general and to enjoy my cricket again. When I was watching the guys at home, I missed it. It's great to come back and contribute.

"I have done a lot of hard work with Saqlain. When they were about eight down, Root asked me if I fancied it (batting at no.3). I did enjoy the 15 balls I faced. If I do bat there again, I need to tighten up," he said.

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