Indian captain Virat Kohli lauded his batting-unit for the manner in which they applied themselves in both innings on a raging turner in Chennai following his sides’ clinical 317-run-win over England in the second Test.
On what was a pitch that starting assisting the spinners from the first morning itself, India won a crucial toss and Rohit Sharma’s masterclass in how to bat on a raging turner and half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant ensured that the home side made full use of the advantage of winning the toss as they posted an eventual match-winning total of 329.
A lot of people including former cricketers like Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen have said that toss was the clincher in the second Test given the manner in which the wicket behaved but Virat Kohli downplayed that theory as he alluded to the fact that both sides had an equal opportunity to be in the game as the wicket had enough in it right from the first day itself. He also reminded everyone that his side nearly scored 300 runs on the third-day pitch.
”The conditions were challenging for both sides, but we showed more application with the bat. We didn’t panic out there looking at the turn and bounce, we showed grit, got into the game and scored 600 runs in the game. We know our bowlers would do the job for us if we put up these runs. The toss wouldn’t have mattered much in this game to be honest, because if you looked at our second innings, we got 300 as well. It wasn’t unfair if the toss went either way. Both teams should be in the game from the first session onwards, whether it is on spinning to seaming tracks, and that exactly was the case in this game,” Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
Unlike the first Test which was played behind closed doors, the second game saw the presence of the boisterous Indian fans in the stadium.
Virat Kohli admitted that it was a bit strange to play in front of empty stands in the first game and that the team found it extremely tough to pick up energy on the field during the first couple of days. The Indian captain was seen urging the crowd to get behind their team during the Test match. Kohli heaped high praise on the Chennai crowd, adding that the people play a huge part in lifting the spirit of the team, especially while bowling in such relenting heat.
”It was a bit strange in he first game to be playing at home with empty stands. We were pretty flat on the first two days over there to be pretty honest, myself included, didn’t pick up energy on the field. But from the second innings onwards in the first game, we picked up and we were on the money in terms of our body language,” he said.
The crowds make a big difference, this game was an example of the grit and determination this side shows and the crowd is a big part of that. Chennai crowd are very intelligent, they understand their cricket really well. In a 15-20 minute period where the bowler needs the support of the crowd, it is my responsibility to involve everyone and bring in the crowd. If I am running in to bowl in this heat, I need people to motivate me. It is a perfect game for us,” Kohli signed off.
With a thumping 317-run win, Virat Kohli has not only broken his four-match losing streak but he also leveled with MS Dhoni as far as most Test wins on home soil are concerned.