June 19, 2021
Southampton, England, UK
India Media Conference
Q. A lot of discipline was shown by the Indian batsmen today.
VIKRAM RATHOUR: We've had one-on-one discussions with all the batters, what kind of game plans they had, how they would like to approach this game and this tour, and you're right, a lot of discipline was shown today. I think we played with a lot of intent, as well. There was some intent of looking to score runs whatever way we can, so pretty reasonable day we had, I think, today.
Q. I just wanted to ask how much training did the batsmen need and what about the openers?
VIKRAM RATHOUR: They batted well. I would give a lot of credit to even Rohit and I think Gill, as well, because I think they started off really well. It was pretty challenging conditions when we started. It was a fresh wicket, we lost the toss, and it was overcast throughout the day. So credit to the batters. I thought they showed a lot of restraint, a lot of discipline, and I think we have ended it pretty well.
Q. I want to ask about this whole bad light thing that is in play because the floodlights are available and there is an option of playing with the floodlights on, and the light is conducive for batting. But then you had a lot of start-stop, start-stop stoppages. So what's your opinion on this?
VIKRAM RATHOUR: I think they have some -- I mean, when they feel that it's really dark and it's not right to play, the light is not right to play, they have taken some reading, and that's going to be the best reading of the lights. So any time the light goes below that, they're going to stop the game, throughout the next five days, as well, so that's how I understand it.
Q. Would you elaborate on that because we saw Shubman stepping out; was that more about the swing, or was it more about who can score runs there?
VIKRAM RATHOUR: I think it had both the factors. Of course countering the swing, as well, and the discussion we've had as a batting group is that we need to be looking to score runs where we can. If you get a loose ball, we need to make it count. I think we could see throughout the day that though we showed a lot of discipline, but I think we looked to score runs whenever there was an opportunity, and that was good to see.
Q. I asked the same question to Virat: How do you think it's going to be when you have naturally attacking batsmen at the top and with starts like that, and as you said, they showed extreme discipline, as well. How easy does it become?
VIKRAM RATHOUR: Yeah, of course, if they come good, they can take an attack away and really put pressure on the bowling side. They showed that today. Unfortunately both of them got out after getting set, but one of the days I'm sure one of them is going to carry on, and that could be the day when we can have a really, really good start.
You know, both of them playing the way they play can put a lot of pressure on the bowling side.
Q. In these conditions with start-stop and the time you've lost, what is a good winning score that the team is looking at? What kind of a score are you looking at?
VIKRAM RATHOUR: We are looking to play sessions well, and if we can keep doing that, anything more than 250 plus would be a reasonable score under the conditions, I think, in these conditions.
Q. In conditions like these, how do you judge an opener. You said the time spent in the middle and runs scored because time becomes an important factor, so is that the primary area in which you judge an opener in these conditions?
VIKRAM RATHOUR: It is important to spend some time, but for me batting is about scoring runs, so I think it's important that whenever you bat, you bat with intent. In these conditions you have to have discipline to score runs, and that's what we showed today. As I said earlier, also Rohit and Gill, both showed a lot of discipline, but at the same time they showed a lot of intent. They were looking to score runs whenever they had an opportunity.
That's what batting is all about. You look to score runs whenever you can.
Q. Why do you think you've found it so easy to score runs freely, and what do you think got harder after they got out?
VIKRAM RATHOUR: I thought generally that's what can happen. Once the ball is a little older, I thought it started swinging a little more and they started hitting better areas, as well, as a bowling unit. So it got a little harder once we lost a couple of wickets because both those set batters were out, but then again in the last session, we could still see that the runs had started to come along.
That's how this game will go, I think. It'll keep doing something throughout the day. You know, you will have some good sessions which you'll have to play through as a batting unit and look to score whenever you can.
Q. This is the fourth time Pujara was hit on the helmet in the last few Test matches. What do you teach him for that as the batting coach? Do you think that hitting pace has become a concern for him?
VIKRAM RATHOUR: Not really concerned. I'm not sure if that's a concern for us. I mean, he's a good player. I don't think pace is an issue against him. I don't think that's a problem he has. Even today I think until he batted he looked pretty solid. He has a role that he needs to do for the team, and I think he's doing it well.
It's just about converting the start. He played 50 odd balls, more than 50 balls, so he just needs to convert one of these starts, and I'm sure it's going to happen pretty soon.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports