Rishabh Pant after a disastrous opening day for India in which they got bundled out for 78 - their 9th ever lowest Test total in Tests, has reckoned that batsmen could have applied themselves well. Only two India batsmen could score in double digits on Wednesday.
India won the toss and opted to bat on a surface which looked good for batting on the opening day of the third Test in Leeds. But what unfurled soon was not what Team India, who were riding high on confidence after a massive 151-run win at Lord's, would have expected.
The first over from James Anderson saw KL Rahul, centurion from the previous Test, depart for a duck. The veteran pacer soon broke the backbone of India batting line-up after dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in short succession. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane was the next one to depart at the stroke of the lunch.
There was no change in luck for the vistors after the lunch break. Craig Overton and Sam Curran joined forces to clean up India's middle order and tail which wagged handsomely in the second Test at Lord's. 78 runs were all India could manage.
Talking about India's performance after the end of Day 1, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has said that team could have shown better application in front of the moving ball. Pant also credited the England pace attack for bowling in good areas on a wicket "which was slightly on the softer side". The youngster also backed team's decision to bat first after winning the toss.
"In the morning, the wicket was slightly on the softer side and they bowled in good areas. We could have applied ourselves better. We can learn from it and only move on. That's all we can do as cricketers. You learn from your mistakes and improve," said Rishabh Pant.
"Whatever decision we take, we take as a team. So once we have decided we are going to bat first, we are going to back our decision. Yes we could have applied much better but we can't keep on thinking too much about the toss.
"It's part and parcel of the game. Everyday the batting unit is giving hundred per cent but sometimes it doesn't go well.
“We need to take everything on our chin rather than thinking about pressure,” Rishabh Pant said.
In reply to India's 78, openers Haseeb Hameed (60 not out) and Rory Burns (52 not out) guided England to 120/0 at stumps, 42 ahead of India in the first innings.