Virat Kohli admitted his bowler’s performances in the second innings of the Oval Test against England is among the top three bowling renditions he has witnessed as Indian captain.
India was able to skittle out England at a paltry score of 210 runs in the second innings as the hosts won by 157 runs and took a 2-1 lead in the series.
Shardul Thakur provided the first breakthrough of the day when he dismissed Rory Burns with a peach of a delivery, which moved away from the left-hander. India was then lucky to get Dawid Malan run out but Mohammed Siraj spilled Haseeb Hameed catch.
However, India bounced back strongly in the second session as England lost four wickets for only six runs. Jasprit Bumrah bowled the spell of the series as he got the ball to move back into the right-handers and dismissed Ollie Pope and Jonny Bairstow in quick succession.
Ravindra Jadeja was also right on the money as got rid of Haseeb Hameed and Moeen Ali by exploiting the rough patch. Shardul Thakur then got the big wicket of Joe Root with an innocuous delivery as the England captain played on whereas Umesh Yadav dismissed Chris Woakes at the stroke of tea.
Thus, the Indian bowling line came up with a collective effort as they bowled in the right areas to trouble the England batsmen despite the lack of help from the flat surface.
In fact, India was not playing Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Ravichandran Ashwin but Jasprit Bumrah led the pace attack from the front.
Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation, “Well, I think the best thing about both the games has been the character the team has shown. We are not looking to survive in this game, we are here to win. Really proud of the character the team has shown. I said at Lord’s as well, I am proud of the character shown by the team, this is amongst the top three bowling performances I have witnessed as India captain. It’s quite relative to what you call flat.
The conditions were hot and we knew were in with an opportunity when Jadeja was bowling into the rough. The bowlers were good with the reverse swing today. We believed we could get all 10 wickets, we had the belief. As soon as the ball started reversing, Bumrah said give me the ball. He bowled that spell and swung the game in our favor with those two huge wickets”.
On the other hand, Rohit Sharma was awarded the Player of the Match for scoring a brilliant knock of 127 runs in the second innings and helped his team in getting a lead of 367 runs. Furthermore, Shardul Thakur played two crucial innings as he scored fifties in each innings and also contributed with the ball as he scalped a total of three wickets. Thakur was able to take India’s score to 191 runs after he scored a quickfire knock of 57 runs in the first innings after the hosts were teetering at 127-7.
Kohli added, “I think you pointed his performance. Rohit’s innings was fantastic. What Shardul has done in this game stands out. His two fifties deflated the opposition. I think he batted well in both innings. We never go towards analysis, statistics, and numbers. We know what we need to focus on and we take a collective decision as a group. It’s unfortunate (Ravi Shastri and co) they are not here. Everyone is happy with the win. It gives us more motivation to win the next Test. We have the belief, we are just looking forward to the opportunities. Whatever the noise’s on the outset, it doesn’t bother us. The fans have been amazing as well”.
The fifth and final Test match will take place at Old Trafford, Manchester from September 10.