Virat Kohli’s message after India’s comprehensive 157-run win over England in the fourth Test was loud and clear: India are here to win. After the defeat at Headingley, several questions were asked of this team, but India bounced back in style to produce a memorable show at the Oval to cruise to a 2-1 series lead.
Needing 10 wickets to win, India’s bowlers put on an excellent display of reverse swing, with Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja sharing nine wickets. In fact, so impressed was Kohli with India’s bowling that he rated it among the top three bowling performances of his eight-year-long captaincy career.
“Well, I think the best thing about both the games has been the character the team has showed. We are not looking to survive in this game, we are here to win. Really proud of the character the team has showed. 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,” Kohli said after India’s resounding win.
With England chasing 368 to win the Test, they started well, with openers Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns adding 77 runs at stumps on Day 4. With just one spinner, many believed India would miss a second spinner, as the deck didn’t seem to have much in it for the pacers. In the end, seven of the 10 England wickets to fall were accounted for by the Indian pacers, which is why Kohli dismissed the notion of a ‘flat pitch’.
“It’s quite relative 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,” the India captain added.