“When you are put against a wall, you need to show character and you need to be brave enough, which I thought we weren’t,” Rohit said on the official broadcast after India went 1-0 down in the five-Test series. “We wanted to take some chances… we didn’t take chances with the bat. But that can happen.”
Rohit said that Pope’s knock was “probably the best” he had seen in Indian conditions by an overseas batter, but felt that the target was by no means ungettable on a surface not doing too much.
“You got to take your hat off and say ‘well played’ to Ollie Pope. That was some serious knock,” Rohit said. “Having gotten the lead of 190, we thought we were very much in the game, but then… exceptional batting, probably the best that I have seen in Indian conditions by an overseas batter.
“Ollie Pope played a brilliant knock. I definitely thought 230 was gettable, there wasn’t too much in the pitch, but we didn’t bat well enough to get to the score.”
This is only the third time overall – and the first time at home – that India have lost a Test match after securing a first-innings lead in excess of 100 runs. Was India’s bowling to blame for the loss in Hyderabad then?
“I went and checked where we bowled [after the third day], and I thought we bowled in the right areas,” Rohit said. “When you finish the day, you analyse: what went well, what didn’t go well, and things like that. We went back and saw things; we spoke about [them] and I thought the bowlers executed the plan really well.
“Overall we failed as a team. We didn’t bat well enough to get to that score [in the second innings]”
“Hard to look at one or two things. Overall we failed as a team. I thought after the first innings of their batting and our batting I thought we were very much in the game. We didn’t bat well enough to get to that score [in the second innings].”
“I wanted them to take the game to the fifth day; 20-30 runs anything is possible,” Rohit said. “The lower order fought really well, and showed the top order that you need to fight it out. It is the first game of the series. I hope the guys can learn from that.”