Rahul Dravid dissects India’s win in 2nd Test

India won the second Test in Visakhapatnam by 106 runs on Monday, February 5, to level the five-match series against England. After losing the first Test by 28 runs, it was important for India to restore parity in the series as a 0-2 deficit could have been very difficult to overturn.

India’s head coach Rahul Dravid said that two remarkable individual performances kept the hosts in the game in the first couple of days. Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a maiden double-century in the first innings before Jasprit Bumrah bagged a six-for. Later, in India’s second innings, Shubman Gill proved his doubters wrong and bounced back to form with a gritty century.

“We were put under pressure at various times, but I think a couple of individual brilliances kept us in the game in the first couple of days,” he said at the post-match press conference on Monday.

“Yashasvi’s brilliant innings, 209 in that first innings. And then Bumrah’s spell really on the first two days kept us, or got us ahead by 140 [runs]. And then, we needed a bit more of a team performance over the next days three and four to get us over the line. So, yeah, quite pleased considering, going behind in the last Test match and then losing a few players. Happy we were able to bounce back, but we recognise it’s gonna be a fantastic series and it’s gonna be some tough cricket played over the next three games.”

Dravid noted that even after getting a handsome 143-run first-innings lead, India couldn’t dictate terms in the second innings, as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals barring a couple of good partnerships.

“I don’t think there was any stage in the game where we felt we could actually force the play. As soon as we thought we could force the play with our 80-run partnership [with Iyer and Gill], we lost a couple of wickets. Then we settled in and got another partnership. If we had got to tea at 250 for 4 instead of 230 for 6, we were 210 for 4 I think, and you just start getting comfortable and then you lose a couple of wickets and you’re thinking, ‘oh’. So I don’t think we were in any position at any stage in this game to ever think about putting pressure back on the opposition,” Dravid said.

“So I think more than that [forcing the play], I think after we lost the first couple of wickets, we soaked the pressure really well to get that partnership, but we couldn’t just capitalise on it enough. And then the same thing happened when we got another 80-partnership [between Gill and Axar Patel]. If we had made that 120 or 130, then I’m sure we would have thought about it differently,” he added.