Tags: England tour of India 2021, India, England, Virat Kohli, Rohit Gurunath Sharma
Published on: Mar 07, 2021
India clinched the four-match Test series against England by an emphatic 3-1 margin. After losing the first Test rather timidly, they came back brilliantly to dominate England in the next three Tests. After a methodical victory in the second Test in Chennai, India brushed aside the England challenge in the last two Tests in Ahmedabad, inside two and three days respectively. With the win in the final Test, they also booked their place in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Reflecting on the impressive triumph, Virat Kohli termed Rohit Sharma’s century in the first innings of the second Test as the defining moment of the series. The Indian captain said, “Rohit’s knock was the defining moment in us coming back into the series. Getting 160 (161) on that pitch is as good as getting 250 on any good batting wicket. It is definitely one of his best Test knocks, if not the best. That gave us the kind of momentum we needed as a side and it really got us into the contest.
“So, yeah, it was an outstanding innings. He batted really well at the top of the order throughout the series, he gave us important knocks, important partnerships as well which is unnoticed when you don’t get those three figures,” he added.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the man on the series for his 32 wickets and 189 runs. Praising the bankable cricketer, Kohli said, “Ashwin has obviously been a banker for us in the past six-seven years in Test cricket. His numbers speak volumes of what he has done in the last few years.”
The 32-year-old hailed India’s comeback after the loss in the first Test. He commented, “The comeback pleased me the most. The first game was a bit of an aberration in the way that we play as a team – that was just a hiccup. England outplayed us. The toss became very crucial because of the way the pitch played on the first two days; I don’t think the bowlers were in the contest at all.
“From the next game onwards it was more exciting cricket and we got into the game early. Even in the second innings (of the first Test) in Chennai we bowled and fielded with a lot more intensity. So for me the comeback was way more pleasing and the way we batted in the second Test match in Chennai.”
Kohli also praised the bench strength of the Indian team, describing it as “as strong as it has ever been”. He further said, “That’s a great sign for Indian cricket. The idea was exactly this: to have youngsters who come in and perform with fearlessness, take the situations on so that when the transition happens eventually it is not difficult for Indian cricket and the standard does not fall below what we have set in the last few years.
“It is up to the individuals as well, like taking the situation on, like Rishabh and Washy did with that game-changing partnership and then Axar as well – a 100-run partnership. These are the kind of situations where individuals stand up and say: ‘okay, I’m going to make a mark and be that player who can be counted on.’ That is what exactly what they have done.”
India and England will now face-off in the five-match T20I series, starting March 12.
–By A Cricket Correspondent