Virat Kohli India
Virat Kohli will know India need to play much better all-round cricket to top England in this seriesReuters

England, coming off a disastrous loss to Bangladesh and with everyone predicting a 5-0 whitewash, batted really well in the first Test against India in Rajkot, there is no doubt about that. But, they were allowed to bat well by the pitch, which had too much grass on it for an Indian wicket and did not really change too much over the course of five days.

As good as England will feel after coming to within four wickets of a victory over India in the opening match of the series, they will also know this wicket was probably a one-off. Chances of another pitch staying true and not really having any sort of demons on it for the entire five days are quite slim.

"I was quite surprised to see that much grass, to be honest," Kohli said. "It should not have been the case." It won't be too.

The next Test is in Visakhapatnam, a pitch that always offers turn, and while the England spinners bowled well on the Rajkot wicket, better than India's trio of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra, on a proper Indian Test match wicket, the home team's bowlers will do better, or at least they should.

England will be delighted to see their four key batsmen -- Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes – all getting off to a great start in the series by scoring centuries. While there were two centurions in India's camp as well, England batted better overall.

Yes, they won the toss, so did not have the problem of scoreboard pressure and yes, when they came out to bat in the second innings, it was with the knowledge that they had a first innings lead. That helps, but to still go on and pile up as many runs as England did and keep Ashwin to just three wickets in the entire match is quite an achievement.

England should be proud of the way they played and Cook looked it when speaking to reporters after the game and after his own hundred had put the pressure on India on the final day.

"It's been a good five days, a hard five days," the England captain said. "We scored four hundreds, our spinners bowled well, and seamers were outstanding on a slow wicket. Everyone should be proud with the way we played."

While there are still four Test matches remaining, India will still be disappointed to have begun the series with a draw. Making a proper statement by annihilating the England team would have been the perfect scenario for them, but, the wicket in Rajkot just wasn't conducive for that plan.

India need to find ways of winning Test matches even when the conditions are not what they want – who knows had Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay hung on to their comfortable catches to dismiss Cook and Haseeb Hameed in the first few overs of the Test match, England's first innings might have panned out completely differently – they need to band together better and find ways of slicing open the opposition.

Better fielding will be a good start, because India cannot afford to drop the amount of catches they did again in this series, even in more helpful conditions.

England have the confidence, but India will back themselves to do better when the second Test match comes along from Thursday.

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