Trent Bridge Test victory could not have come at a better time: Virat Kohli

first_imgIndia were under serious pressure when they reached Nottingham for the third Test against England. Despite Virat Kohli heroics and some spirited performances by the pacers, India had gone down at Edgbaston and Lord’s.Barring Kohli, India’s batsmen looked incapable of competing against James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran. At Lord’s, Joe Root did not even call on Adil Rashid to bowl. Former cricketers from India and England questioned the Indian team’s attitude. Why were the players not practicing enough?They had played just one warm-up match before the Test series and it was days before India practiced again for the third Test. What was going on?Kohli’s captaincy was under the scanner too. He had taken pride in the team’s performance and he wanted his side to be world beaters. Yet, after the highs of those victories over South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia at home, India had started their series of away Tests on a disappointing note.Murali Vijay dropped, Prithvi Shaw in India squad for final 2 Tests vs EnglandIndia failed in the Test series against South Africa. In Cape Town, they failed to chase down a modest total. In Centurion, India failed in conditions that were as close to their own as they would ever find in South Africa. A consolation victory at Johannesburg meant little but the Indian team seemed to believe it could take a lot from that win.EXCLUSIVE – Virat Kohli looks like he is batting on a different pitch: Harbhajan SinghadvertisementAnd then disaster struck at Edgbaston and Lord’s.Questions were asked: Is Kohli a good enough leader? Is Ravi Shastri doing enough as coach? Were the players insecure? Constant changes were bound to create a sense of fear. But Kohli was determined. Nobody was insecure and Shastri, the coach spurred his players on at a pre-match press conference – there’s not a negative bone in the side, he said.Read – India complete historic Test triumph in England: Recapping all seven victoriesAnd before you knew it, the Trent Bridge Test had started. And India were asked to bat. And they showed intent.Kohli’s India can be the best travelling side in the world: Ravi ShastriThe openers fought. Virat Kohli scored 200 runs. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara found form. The bowlers delivered as usual – Hardik Pandya’s five-wicket haul was possibly the icing on the cake. Besides, debutant wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, with seven catches, showed he belonged to the biggest stage. India registered their 7th Test victory in England (AP Photo)A few days later, India had secured only their seventh Test victory in England. The players had rallied to their captain’s call of now or never. The series was well and truly alive.Also Read – Virat Kohli breaks Sourav Ganguly’s record as Test captainShortly after sealing victory, Kohli said the victory could not have come at a better time.Kohli was named man-of-the-match for his 97 and 103 but he could not stop praising his bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah, Pandya, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami deserved all the rich praise that came their way from the captain and coach.”The bowling group was eager to take 20 wickets again. It was just a question of what we could do as batsmen to provide them with that cushion of going hard at the opposition and that’s exactly what we did in this game.”When both skills come together with slip catching, you win Test matches and I’m really happy to see everyone taking the responsibility at the right time. Couldn’t have come at a better time for us,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.Virat Kohli dedicates historic Test triumph to Kerala flood victimsKohli was convinced there was nothing wrong with his team. Before Trent Bridge, India had lost four out of five overseas Tests this year. But the team believed it was outplayed only at Lord’s where they went down by an innings and 159 runs.Anushka Sharma keeps me motivated, I dedicate my innings to her: Virat KohliThe bowlers were doing their job – the batsmen had to step up and support Kohli, who is now the leading scorer in Test cricket this year.”We only spoke about the fact that we were outplayed in only one Test out of the last five overseas, which was at Lord’s and there was no need for us to change anything because Birmingham was close.”As a batting group, we spoke about how the bowlers are doing so well and if we just stepped up as batsmen we will definitely be on top and that’s exactly what we did.”advertisement Cheteshwar Pujara (right) returned to form in the Trent Bridge Test (Photo)India will now travel to Southampton for the fourth Test with the belief they can draw level and even win the series in September.last_img

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