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Cricket-India's Kohli elated with 'gold dust' from tailenders

Cricket-India's Kohli elated with 'gold dust' from tailenders

Cricket - First Test - England v India - Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Britain - August 8, 2021 India's Virat Kohli as rain delays play Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

NOTTINGHAM, England : A near 50-run haul by India's notoriously brittle batting tail in the first innings of the drawn opening test against England was like "gold dust", Indian captain Virat Kohli said.

Since 2018, India's last three batsmen have had the worst average of all test playing nations.

They made a significant contribution at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, however, where rain washed out the final day's play on Sunday and robbed the match of an exciting finish.

A career-best 28 from Jasprit Bumrah, 13 from Mohammed Shami and seven not out by Mohammed Siraj helped the tourists to a vital 95-run first innings lead in a low-scoring contest.

"They've been in the nets regularly, wanting to contribute regularly, wanting to contribute to the team," Kohli said of the tailenders' batting exploits after the draw.

"Getting 50-plus runs from those three bowlers was like gold dust for us.

"We'd have been talking about a lead of 40-odd and then we got to a lead of 95 purely because of their efforts."

In comparison, England's last three batsmen twice made a combined 20 in the series opener.

"Just the grit and determination," Kohli said. "As opposition, when the bowlers get runs it can be annoying. They did a tremendous job with the bat."

With the tailenders giving a good account of themselves, India will be tempted to continue with the same bowling combination of four seamers and a pacer in the remaining four tests against Joe Root's side.

"This looks like the right template for us moving forward," Kohli said.

The second test is scheduled at Lord's from Thursday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Richard Pullin)

Source: Reuters

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