London :  Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott said that the Indian players know that the Oval Test is already lost and praised India skipper Mahendra Singh for his valiant 82 in the first innings.

Boycott said the Indians know that the Test is already lost on the first day itself and that is the hardest part.

“The India players themselves know the game is lost. That’s the hardest; it’s soul-destroying because there’s so much time. It’s hard to motivate yourself and convince yourself you have a chance of winning,” Boycott said on BBC Test Match Special.

“We say Dhoni is unorthodox, but on swinging, seaming pitches he plays the ball late and under his nose so your bat and pad are close to your body. You might play and miss occasionally, but he doesn’t get tortured by that – and when the bad ball comes along, he tonks it. He played a fine innings – not aesthetic – but without him, the score would have been embarrassing,” he said.

“He (Vijay) doesn’t have to move very far – you can’t get any better than that. They’re hopeless, aren’t they? If you can’t catch cuckoos like that, you’ve no chance,” said Boycott.

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