Kohli and Pujara remain under fire

India

Fielding coach Trevor Penney defended batsmen Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, as India slumped to a mere 148 all out on day one of the final Test match against England at The Oval in London.

Fielding coach Trevor Penney defended batsmen Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, as India slumped to a mere 148 all out on day one of the final Test match against England at The Oval in London.

Kohli and Pujara's form has been particularly poor throughout the five-match series and Friday brought more disappointment, with the former dismissed for six and the latter four.

"No, it is not at all that – the technique issue. At this stage we want our batsmen to be positive because they are doing the right things, just the runs haven't come. So we will be looking to turn things around in the second innings," said Penney.

"In the first two Tests, we scored runs. The batsmen got in and scored in both those matches. But in the last two matches we have struggled a bit and perhaps that is because England have been bowling better and a lot fuller."

Seamers Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes were at the fore of England's success, snaring three wickets each. Visiting skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, meanwhile, defied with a combative half-century – and shared a rearguard alliance of 58 with tail-ender Varun Aaron.

"I think the batsmen did well today because the conditions were quite tough out there. Unfortunately we were not able to do the same with the ball and hopefully Saturday will be different," added Penney.

"It is definitely not something to do with the pitch. Yes, there was movement here and also at Old Trafford, but we negotiated a green top at Lord's and managed to win that game. Dhoni had a great day in the field and he batted well out there. His innings was a crucial one and it helped us get some runs on the board."

The home side will resume on 62 without loss after 19 overs, as left-handed openers Alastair Cook and Sam Robson target a prompt lead – and a formidable first-innings total.

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