Virat Kohli was pleased about his team's series win against England. After winning by an innings and 25 runs in the final Test in Ahmedabad to clinch the series 3-1, Virat Kohli looked back on how the win in the second Test was key.
Team India showed tremendous grit to bounce back after a heavy loss in the first Test in Chennai. The hosts, however, regrouped with three clinical performances to seal their place in the inaugural World Test Championship Final at Lord's later this year.
In a series that had several memorable moments, Virat Kohli shed light on why he felt India’s resilience after the first Test loss was the most important of the lot. During the post-match presentation, the Indian captain admitted that his team's comeback after the loss in Chennai pleased him the most.
“I think the comeback pleased me the most. I think the first game was a bit of an aberration in the way that we play as a team. That was just a hiccup, and England outplayed us. For me, the comeback was way more pleasing, and the way we batted in that second Test in Chennai (was fabulous).”
After the highs of a historic series win in Australia, Team India lost the first Test in Chennai by 227 runs. The hosts looked uncharacteristically bereft of ideas, as Joe Root and co took an unexpected series lead.
However, Virat Kohli and co came back strongly, not allowing the talk about the toss and helpful pitches distract them. Looking back at the first game, Virat Kohli talked about what went wrong in that game and what changed for the team after that heavy loss.
“The toss became very crucial (in the first Test) because of the way the pitch played in the first two days. I don’t think the bowlers were in the contest at all. From the next game onwards, it was more exciting cricket. We got into the game early. Even in the second innings in Chennai, we bowled and fielded with a lot more intensity.”
Virat Kohli happy to see youngsters take their chances
An integral part of India’s recent success against England and Australia has been the younger players stepping up and taking responsibility. At times when senior players have been injured or unavailable, India’s young players stepped up and grabbed their opportunities with both hands.
With India’s bench strength the strongest it has ever been in recent years, an elated Virat Kohli expounded how it would help the team stay at the pinnacle for a while:
“Our bench strength is as strong as it has ever been. That’s a great sign for Indian cricket. The idea was exactly this. To have youngsters who come in and perform with fearlessness and face the situations (head) on, so that when the transition happens eventually, it is not difficult for Indian cricket, and the standard doesn’t fall below what we have set in the past few years.”
Virat Kohli admitted blooding in youngsters has been a conscious effort by the team management. But the Indian captain also lauded Washington Sundar, Axar Patel and Rishabh Pant for their performances, especially in the final Test:
“I think it is up to the individuals as well. Taking the situation on when Rishabh and Washi did with that game-changing partnership and then with Axar as well. A hundred run partnership. These are the kind of situations where individuals stand up and say- Okay, I am going to make a mark and make a name for myself, and you know be that player that can be counted on. That’s exactly what they’ve done.,” said Kohli.