India bounced back in the five-match series against England in style with a thumping 203-run win at Trent Bridge. It was an all-round show by the visitors with both bowlers and batsmen chipping in valuable performances throughout the Test. While skipper Virat Kohli led the batting charge scoring 97 and 103 in the two innings, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah bagged a five-for each in the match to help India register a famous win.
Kohli was awarded Player of the Match for his stunning effort with the bat. At the post-match conference the Indian captain, who dedicated the massive win to Kerala flood victims, admitted that a strong batting performance was key behind the win.
The skipper said,” We would like to dedicate this victory to Kerala flood victims. They’re going through a tough time there and this is the minimum we can do on our part. The victory was much needed to keep the series alive, the credit goes to the entire dressing room. We didn't panic. We were outplayed in only one game out of the last five, and that was at Lord's.”
“We dominated in this game because we put runs on the board and then the bowlers did well, even Ashwin did well with his injury. The batsmen did well to give them a cushion to go hard. Even the slips did well, and this mix of all skills couldn't have come at a better time.”
Talking about Ajinkya Rahane, Kohli said, “Ajinkya was clear in his mindset in the first innings, and when he goes out and plays like that, he can change the game. England is a quality attack and you need grit and determination, and Ajinkya did that in the first innings and Pujara in the second. We definitely believe we can come back from 0-2 to 3-2 if we keep performing the way we have done in this Test, we just need to keep moving forward, keep winning.”
Head coach Ravi Shastri said that India always believed that a win was around the corner. After the match he said, “Despite the results, we knew we were never too far from England. As I said in the press conference earlier, we didn't have a negative bone in the body and I meant it. We executed our plans with the bat, ball and especially in the field. We have more than a capable fast bowling unit with even the bench strength. This team is capable of winning abroad. We can thrash teams at home but we want to win outside.”
Shastri lauded Kohli’s effort and added, “He loves batting and his preparation is on Tendulkar's level. Also his ability to stay in the present, I can tell you he has already forgotten about these two innings. We have only won a Test but not the series, there are still two Tests to go and we will be going all out for the win.”
The losing captain Joe Root didn’t have much going his way in the match except for Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes' partnership who tried their best to delay the inevitable. Reflecting on the team’s performance Root said, “The pitch had a bit of green grass and we have been bowling well in those conditions. Looking back, we could have bowled a bit fuller and straighter.”
Talking about getting prised wicket of Kohli, Root said, “We are always coming up with new plans (against Kohli) and we have bowled well at him. He hasn't scored quickly but has come up with good plans to tackle us. We have some experienced fast bowlers who I am sure will come up with some plans to tackle him. That's the challenge in big series, to get someone out who has been in good form.”
“In the second innings, the partnership between Buttler and Stokes was admirable and a lesson in how to play Test cricket. We have to look at that, and adapt our games individually in Southampton.”