After India staged a remarkable turnaround on the fifth and final day to script a famous 151-run win against England at Lord’s, captain Virat Kohli said it is the best feeling that his team could have given to the Indians tin London and back home. Victory, which left Kohli’s men 1-0 up in this five-match series, came just a day after India’s Independence Day on August 15 and the tourists enjoyed plenty of vocal support at Lord’s.
“We fed off that energy,” said Kohli. “It’s a day late celebration for Independence Day. It’s the best feeling we can give the Indians here and back in India.
“We have three matches to go and we will be just as intense,” added Kohli, looking to lead India to just a fourth Test series win in England after successes in 1971, 1986 and 2007.
India started Day 5 on the backfoot when Rishabh Pant – their last recognised batsman fell early – but an unbroken 102-run record stand between bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami helped India to give a stiff 272-run target to England with just 60 overs of play remaining.
The four-pronged Indian seam attack then launched a relentless attack on the fragile England batting line-up to bowl them out for 120 in 51.1 overs on Monday.
Mohammed Siraj picked up 4/32 while Jasprit Bumrah returned with figures of 3 for 33.
Reflecting on what was just India’s third win in 19 Tests at the ‘home of cricket’, Kohli said: “I feel super proud of the whole team. The pitch didn’t offer much in the first three days.
“The way we played this morning with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Burmah with the bat was important.
“We believed we could get them out in 60 overs and the bowlers were outstanding.”
England captain Joe Root made a superb 180 not out in the first innings — his fifth Test century this year — and top-scored again for his side with 33 on Monday before falling to the third ball after tea.
And an England team without missing all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, as well as injured quicks Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer, offered only limited resistance in the absence of yet another major contribution from Root.
India, however, overcame a raft of injuries and the absence of star batsman Kohli on paternity leave to win a Test series in Australia this year.
England have now gone seven Tests without a win — a sequence that includes a campaign loss in India.
And Root, perhaps somewhat harshly, blamed himself for England’s lack of tactical discipline with the ball on Monday after his pacemen repeatedly bowled too short at Shami and Bumrah.
“As captain, you take responsibility,” he said.
“I don’t think I coped with that partnership well enough… Maybe we could have looked at attacking the stumps a little bit more frequently, using the short ball as more of a surprise.”
(With agency inputs)