Virat Kohli was ecstatic after India’s 157-run win in the fourth Test at the Oval, which saw the visiting side go 2-1 up in the five-Test series.
“The character that the side has shown, to come back from 100 run deficit showed that we were not down and out. I said at Lord’s as well, I am proud of the character,” said Kohli.
It was another meek surrender from England, which lost 6 for 62 in 25.1 overs during the afternoon session. Jasprit Bumrah precipitated the collapse, becoming the fastest Indian seamer to reach 100 Test wickets along the way. Kohli was effusive in his praise for Bumrah. “27 runs off 22 overs on this kind of pitch, a huge effort. When it started reversing he just said give me the ball,” Kohli said.
“This is among the top three bowling performances I have witnessed as India captain.”
Asked about the pitch, Kohli said: “It’s relative what you call flat, the field wasn’t wet like the first three days. The ball got scuffed up nicely, one side heavier, and our bowlers exploited reverse swing perfectly. We believed as a team that we could get all 10 wickets.”
The win was set up with Rohit Sharma’s maiden overseas Test hundred. Kohli hailed Rohit’s performance and also emphasised the breathtaking chutzpah and enterprise shown by the lower middle-order, spearheaded by Shardul Thakur’s twin fifties. “Rohit’s innings was outstanding, but the impact performance came from the lower-middle order. Shardul’s fifty was the difference. He was outstanding.”
Joe Root on the defeat
“Frustrating not to get something from the game today. We felt we had an opportunity to win. But credit to India, they got the ball to reverse and that was the turning point. Got to find ways to get better but we have to be realistic and realise that was world-class bowling from India. It might reverse at Old Trafford, we’ll have to manage it better.”