MUMBAI: Virat Kohli has praised the efforts of the all-rounders in his team and stated that their contributions were making a difference as India secured their fifth consecutive series win after beating England by an innings and 36 runs at the Wankhede stadium.
Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav all played decisive roles with both bat and ball to give India an edge over England.
The India all-rounders had turned the course of the game during the fourth day and their captain said runs from the lower order can really demoralise the opposition.
“They are not just match-saving runs, they are match-winning runs (that the lower-order is contributing),” said Kohli.
“That’s something that we always lacked. And for the guys to step up at the right time and Jayant’s hundred was outstanding. At one stage even though I was on 140 he was outscoring me,” added the Indian captain.
“That makes a massive difference, it (all-rounder) just gives the captain an extra option which as good as playing 12 people on the field.”
India were in a spot of bother at 307 for six in the first innings in pursuit of England’s 400. But, Jadeja and Yadav played the supporting roles to perfection to help Kohli bail the team out. Jadeja helped Kohli steady the ship by taking the score to 364 before Yadav shared a record 241-run eighth wicket partnership with Kohli to take the game away from Alastair Cook’s team.
Kohli said it was important to unearth talented all-rounders and draft them into the senior team and not wait too long for them to toil in domestic cricket. “If you get guys like that, you identify them, you get them in, get them to international circuit immediately,” he said, while adding, “If you see Jayant’s record in the first-class cricket, his runs and wickets won’t sort of shock you or mesmerise you but here he is and he knows the game perfectly well.”