Rathour rues India’s poor 3rd innings

Birmingham: After a disappointing Day 4 with bat and ball against the hosts, India batting coach Vikram Rathour said India could have done better as a batting unit and put England out of the game, but failed to do so. A 150-run stand between Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root helped turn things in favour of England at the end of the final session of Day Four of the ongoing fifth and final Test against India at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Monday (July 4). At the end of the day’s play, England’s score read 259/3, with Root (76 not out) and Bairstow (72 not out) standing tall. India bowlers were left clueless by the determination and stroke play of both in-form batters. England need 119-run more runs to win chasing a target of 378 by India who were bundled out for 245 in their second innings.

“We had a pretty ordinary day with the bat. We were ahead in the game. We were in a position where we could have batted them (England) out of the game, but we could not. “A lot of players got starts but could not convert them into big scores. It was expected that one of them would play a big knock or have a big partnership but we could not. We should have had shown better strategy as a batting unit,” Rathour said at the post-day press conference. He also said that weather could not be an excuse for sub-par bowling performance in the final innings so far, in which Root-Bairstow put the hosts in a dominant position. “We needed to bowl better, bowl in better areas,” he added. Rathour, however, expressed optimism that pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami could still bring back India into contention on the final day of the ongoing fifth and final Test against England. “It is still a huge target. There are still 119 runs to be scored. We can still do well, two early wickets next morning and the game will open up again,” he added. The batting coach lauded Pujara for his knock of 66 runs. “He was told in the last moments of the Test that he is going to open and he did that. He showed his attitude, a lot of character,” he added.

Sunil Kumar Dhangadamajhi

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