Captain Virat Kohli plays anchor as India draw first test with England

The hosts finish on 172-6 having been set 310 runs off a minimum 49 overs on the fifth and last day at Saurashtra Cricket Association ground

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 November, 2016, 7:59pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 November, 2016, 8:00pm

Captain Virat Kohli hit an unbeaten 49 under pressure before India pulled off a tense draw on the final day of the first test against England in Rajkot on Sunday.

The tourists had declared their second innings at 260-3 shortly after lunch, leaving the home side to chase 310 runs off a minimum 49 overs on the fifth and last day.

But India were soon fighting for survival after losing wickets in a clutch on a wearing track at the Saurashtra Cricket Association ground, which was hosting its first test ever.

India finished on 172-6 before relieved home fans with local hero Ravindra Jadeja remaining not out on 32.

“It was a good opportunity to find out new things about your game. We couldn’t get a better chance to practice other aspects of your game [towards the end],” Kohli told ESPN Cricinfo.

“Important to convince yourself you can negotiate what’s thrown at you. We could have been much better on days one and two. We dropped five catches.

“England are a side we are not going to take for granted. Good to get things done in the end. We need to correct the things we need to. England’s bowlers put constant pressure. We need to accept what happened.”

England had India in early trouble at 71-4, but Kohli steadied the ship with a 47-run partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin (32).

Adil Rashid was the pick of the bowlers with 3-64, while his spin partners Moeen Ali and Zafar Ansari took one wicket each.

“Really tough five days, good toss to win. In India if you score 530, you’re always in the game, good cricket wicket,” England captain Alastair Cook, who earlier scored 130 in the second innings, told ESPN Cricinfo.

“We were relentless with the ball, we didn’t let India score too quickly. To keep them to 480, we did well.

“The way [Hameed] played was brilliant. We wanted to make them score something they couldn’t get.

“It was flat for the first three days, and then turned more and more.

“[Hameed] looked the real deal in the first innings, we certainly found a batsman there, he certainly looks a good ‘un. Adil stepped up another level.”