After India lost the Leeds Test by an innings and 76 runs, skipper Virat Kohli stated that the team cannot depend on the lower-order to bail the team out every time. He also added that playing another spinner in the XI will depend on the conditions at The Oval - the venue for the next Test.
When India's back was against the wall at Lord's, it was a sensational batting partnership between Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah that rescued the ship. However, with the middle-order continuing to disappoint and the openers having a sub-par game, India's batting failed terribly in the third Test at Headingley. After collapsing for 78 in the first innings, the Indian batting showed a strong fight on Day 3 with Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli putting up a solid show.
However, starting with an overnight score of 215/2, India lost Pujara even before he could add a run to his overnight 91, and that was followed by a dramatic collapse, with India getting bundled out for 278 as Ollie Robinson wreaked havoc with a five-wicket haul. Speaking in the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli rued India's poor decisions with the bat and stated that the lower-order cannot rescue the team all the time.
"We didn't make good decisions as a batting side. The pitch looked good to bat on, and when England batted it hadn't changed much, so they had a lot more intent with the bat, made better decision. They were the deserving side to win to be honest. You could say that we don't have enough batting depth, but the top order has to give enough runs to the lower middle order to step up. The lower order can't bail the team out all the time. We don't have much other than the batting in the second innings to take from this game in terms of positives," Kohli said after the game.
He also lauded the English bowlers, who put constant pressure on the Indian batsmen today.
"It's down to scoreboard pressure. We knew we were up against it when we were out for 80 and the opposition put up a big score. We put up crucial partnerships and saw the day through, but the pressure from the English bowlers was brilliant this morning and we didn't respond well. Batting collapses can happen in this country, the pitch was good to bat on, but their discipline with the ball forced us to make a few mistakes, and it was difficult to deal with spells where we weren't getting runs."
Ravichandran Ashwin's continued omission from the side in the ongoing series has raised quite a few debates. The Indian skipper remarked that the inclusion of an additional spinner will depend entirely on the pitch and he stated that the pressure from the fourth seamer plays a crucial role in the game.
"Playing another spinner would depend on the pitch and we'll take a call later. It depends on the moisture and how it will hold up for the five days. The pressure from the fourth seamer is important sometimes and sometimes we have to make sure taking only three seamers means that the spinners have to come in quickly. We need to correct our flaws quickly and we've done this before, and we look forward to the Oval Test."