Team India celebrate after beating England in The Oval Test. (Photo: Courtesy BCCI Twitter Handle)
All-round performances from the players, helped Virat Kohli-led India bowl out England for 210 to win The Oval Test by 157 runs and take a 2-1 series in the five-match series, here on Monday.
Speaking about the win, India skipper Virat Kohli said that he was proud of the character his team showed to come back from a 100 run deficit in the first innings and win the match by 157 runs.
“The character that the side has shown, to come back from a 100 run deficit, showed that we were not down and out. I said at Lord’s as well, I am proud of the character, among the top three bowling performances I have witnessed as India captain. It’s relative to what you call flat, field wasn’t wet like the first three days, ball got scuffed up nicely, one side heavier, and exploited reverse swing perfectly. We believed as a team that we could get all ten wickets,” said Kohli.
Praising Jasprit Bumrah for his outstanding bowling, Kohli said, “27 runs off 22 overs on this kind of pitch is a huge effort. When it started reversing, he just said give me the ball.”
The India skipper said that though Rohit Sharma’s innings was outstanding, Shardul Thakur’s ‘s fifty in the first innings was the difference that helped the team counterattack in the second innings. “Rohit’s innings was outstanding, but the impact performance from the lower-middle order, Shardul’s fifty was the difference, and a counterattack in the second innings. Looking to restrict us but he was outstanding. We never got towards statistics, we know what we focus on, we take a call on what feels best and we believe we can win Tests with it. Whatever the noise on the outset, it doesn’t bother us,” said Kohli.
On head coach Ravi Shastri and the other back-room staff in isolation, Kohli said that it was unfortunate that they weren’t here to celebrate the victory. “Unfortunate they aren’t here but they just called us. it’s a real momentum boost. We are looking forward to opportunities to step on the field for India. And the fans have been outstanding too,” he said.
Meanwhile, Player of the Match is Rohit Sharma said, “I wanted to be on the field but getting that hundred was special, 100 behind we knew how important it was to give them a target of 370-odd. A great effort from the batting unit. It’s my first overseas hundred, so obviously my best one. The three-figure mark wasn’t in my mind, we knew the pressure on the batting unit, but kept our heads down and batted the situation.”
“Not been preying on my mind, just try to get the team into a good position. With 30, or 80, or 150-plus. I used to bat middle-order, but I know the importance of opening. Once you’re in you’ve got to make it count. It’s important to embrace the challenge. Back in Durham we had time off to look at our training and technique, after WTC we had 20-25 days and that was a game-changer. Batted well as we’ve been challenged, especially at Leeds, but that can happen,” said Sharma.