Joe Root was determined to look on the bright side after being handed an “education” by India in the second Test in Chennai.
Inspired by hometown hero Ravi Ashwin, India levelled the four-match series at 1-1 with a 317-run victory inside four days on a turning pitch.
Chennai-born Ashwin, 34, claimed eight wickets in the match, including a first-innings five-wicket haul, and also scored a century in the second innings.
The player who Yorkshire signed as their overseas player for 2020 before cancelling the deal due to the Coronavirus pandemic was not surprisingly named player-of-the-match.
England captain Root said: “Credit has to go to India. They played very well and outplayed us in all three departments. We got a bit of an education. We’ve got to learn.
“These are the conditions you sometimes come up against. The toss was an important one, but I don’t think it determined the game. We have to find a way score in these conditions and take wickets.
“With the ball on day one, we could have been a bit tighter and squeezed the game a bit more. With the bat, it was a challenging wicket from day two onwards.
“We have to be smart with how we score out here. We have to learn from the opposition.
“But we are 1-1 in the series with two important games to come. We are very much in this series. It is set up very nicely.
“We’ve just got to stay level, keep trying to get better.”
The next Test is a day/night, pink ball fixture in Ahmedabad, starting a week tomorrow (9am UK).
There will be at least one change to England’s team, with Moeen Ali returning home to rest.
Jonny Bairstow has rejoined the England party and has been named in a 17-man squad for the third Test, one which also includes Dom Bess after he missed out over the last four days.
On selection, Root said: “It’s a difficult time in that respect, but we have to manage the best we can.
“You look at the side we put out, there is no question they are a talented bunch of players.
“Questions will be asked about resting Jimmy Anderson, but we replaced him with the number two bowler in the world (Stuart Broad).
“It is very tricky, players are spending long days away from their families, the fact of the matter is we’ve been out played on a wicket which has spun and is very foreign to our batting line-up.
“We’ve got a period now to have some honest discussions and ask how we’re going to manage things.
“We won’t beat ourselves up too much, won’t get ahead of ourselves. We’ll come back fighting for the rest of the series.”