India coach Rahul Dravid said on Monday he was pleased with his team’s young players in delivering a comeback win in the second Test against England in a “tough series”.
Star batsman Virat Kohli opted out of the first two Tests due to personal reasons and India were also without injured batsman KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in Visakhapatnam.
Yashasvi Jaiswal, 22, hit 209 in India’s first innings and 24-year-old Shubman Gill made 104 to help the hosts set England a daunting victory target of 399.
“It’s nice for the young group to be able to respond like that,” Dravid told reporters.
“I probably can’t say it was the most pleasing (from previous wins), but certainly nice considering that we went behind, and we were put under pressure at various stages, and we responded really well.”
India are expected to announce their squad for the remaining three Tests in the next two days but Dravid remained non-committal on Kohli’s comeback.
“I think it’s best to ask for selectors once the team will be selected for the next three games,” Dravid said of Kohli’s availability for the rest of the five-match series.
England, led by Ben Stokes, won the opener to hand India just their fourth loss at home in Tests since 2013 but the hosts bounced back to win the second Test by 106 runs.
The Indians bowled out the opposition for 292 on day four but England offered tough resistance all through with their attacking brand of cricket dubbed “Bazball”.
The style of play devised under coach Brendon McCullum and Stokes has won England 14 matches in 20 outings and Dravid remains impressed.
“I have always known that is going to be a tough series,” the batting great said.
“They have lot of experienced players. It has been tough. We would like to be 2-0 but, considering the cricket being played on both sides, 1-1 is fair position to be in.”
On tackling the fast-paced “Bazball”, Dravid said: “I know it’s just a term — I’m not sure how happy they are about it, but they are playing really good cricket.”
“I think it’s not like wild slogging. They are actually showing some very good skills. They know how to find that balance, and we know we’re up against the challenge and we’re looking forward to it,” he said.
England would fly to Abu Dhabi for a short break before returning to India for the third Test in Rajkot beginning on Feb. 15.
“We have had two great Tests out here,” Stokes said.
“Two close games does take it out of you emotionally so we will have some time with families and partners.
“We will recharge the batteries, get away for four or five days, and then prepare for Rajkot.”