Indian captain Virat Kohli was a proud man at the post-match presentation after his team scripted yet another triumph on home soil to qualify for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June.
But more than the win, the thing that has pleased Virat Kohli the most is the manner in which Team India made a comeback in the series in the last three Tests following an unexpected 227-run drubbing in the first Test in Chennai.
Terming the defeat in the first Test as an ‘aberration, captain Kohli lauded the team for the way they lift their spirits after the loss besides also heaped praise on India’s bench-strength, which was once again on show in this series as debutant Axar Patel, who claimed a staggering 27 wickets in three Tests with four five-wicket-hauls against his name, and Washington Sundar made the most of their opportunities.
Washington Sundar played two unbeaten knocks of 85 and 96 in the Test series while Rishabh Pant smoked a game-changing hundred in the last Test. According to Virat Kohli, the manner in which Washingon and Pant batted, it showed that the future of Indian cricket is in good hands.
”The comeback in Chennai pleased me the most. The first game was an aberration and England outplayed us. The toss played a crucial role and the bowlers weren’t in the contest. We bowled and fielded with more intensity and so the comeback was very heartening. Our bench strength is extremely strong and that’s a good sign for Indian cricket,” said Virat Kohli in the post-match presentation.
”When the transition happens, the standards won’t fall and Rishabh and Washy’s partnership showed exactly that in a crucial juncture of the match. We had to pick up our body language after the first game in Chennai. Every team in international cricket is a quality side and we need to work hard to beat them, even at home. Keeping that intensity going is most important and is the hallmark of our team,” added Kohli.
Ravichandran Ashwin had another brilliant outing as he claimed as many as 30 wickets besides scoring a hundred on a raging turner in the second innings of the 2nd Test. Ashwin won his 8th ‘Player of the Series’, and as expected, Virat Kohli was full of praise for the champion off-spinner.
Thanks to the 3-1 series win, India have qualified for the inaugural ICC Test Championship final. Kohli had said before the final Test that WTC is more of a distraction, alluding to the series in New Zealand last year where the team faltered while thinking too much about the qualification. The Indian skipper said that since then the team focussed on one match at a time but now that they officially qualified, they can now focus on it.
”Ashwin has been our most bankable player over the years so they have been our best players this series. Now we can accept that the WTC final, which was a distraction in New Zealand in 2020, but now it’s a reality,” said Virat Kohli.
Thanks to this series win, India have now won 13 series on the bounce on home soil, 10 of which have come under the leadership of Virat Kohli.