Agreeing that the ninth wicket partnership between bowlers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah gave India ‘heart’ and the hostile treatment the two received from England while batting in the middle fired the rest of the team up, KL Rahul said if the opposition comes after anyone of the Indian cricketers, then the entire team will try and give it back.
“If you go after one of our guys, you are going after the whole team, all XI of us will come right back,” Rahul said when asked about the heated episodes between India and England on Day 5 of the second Test match, which India won by 151 runs at Lord’s.
India had lost their last recognised batsman Rishabh Pant early but pacers Shami and Bumrah dug deep and battled against England’s bizarre tactics of trying to bounce them out.
Bumrah and Shami were also involved in verbal duals with the likes of James Anderson, Jos Buttler in between. The umpires too had to step in on both occasions. These, however, had no effect on Shami and Bumrah. In fact, if at all, it riled them up further and made them put a price tag on their wicket.
The duo put together an unbroken 102-run stand with Shami scoring a fifty. India declared and gave England 272 to win in 60 overs. After the heroics with the bat, the duo then did the trick with the ball by removing both England openers – Dom Sibley and Rory Burns – for a duck in the first two overs of their second innings.
“Look, the partnership between Bumrah and Shami was so good. When you’re bowlers go out there and show so much heart, and put up a fight like that, it just pumps you up. The bowlers were waiting to have a crack at England, we knew the declaration will come after the lunch break. The bowlers were really keen and they were looking forward to go out there. We knew the pitch was up and down, so we were very keen as a pack. To go out there and put up a performance like that is very special,” said Rahul.
Further elaborating on the banter between the two sides, Rahul said: “Look, personally, it shows how badly both teams want to win. When both teams go at each other, it shows how badly both teams want to win and that is how Test cricket is played. We as a team are never shy to say a word or two, if someone goes at one of our players and the rest of 10 guys get pumped, that is the kind of team we are.”
That is why bowlers were really keen to go out there. This is what people come to watch and this highly speaks about how badly each team wants to win. We are looking forward to the next three games, both teams are going to come hard. This win will be right up there for me and the team, playing at Lord’s, there is always hype about it. As individuals we look forward to it, in 2018 we lost badly here so coming back here and winning, will be very special to me.”
Rahul had played a knock of 129 runs and for his performance, he was awarded as Man of the Match.
“Yeah, I think so. I played with a lot of control and discipline and that is what my plan was and that is what I prepared for. To go out there and execute it was really satisfying for me. This hundred is right up there, it is a very memorable innings for me especially because it turned into a match-winning for us,” said Rahul.