Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri believe India can win the Test series against England
India have the opportunity to become only the second team in cricket history to bounce back after losing the first two Tests.cricket Updated: Aug 23, 2018 08:47 IST
India coach Ravi Shastri said his team won’t get carried away by the Trent Bridge Test victory and proving a point to critics after going 0-2 down or emulating Don Bradman’s Australia of 1936-37 with a comeback series win wasn’t on their minds.
“We don’t read (papers). We ran England close at Edgbaston. We were blown away at Lord’s. They were simply magnificent in all three departments here. As head coach, I can’t ask for more,” he told reporters after the 203-run win on Thursday morning.
Shastri explained what he had asked of the players following the innings defeat at Lord’s. “Very little practice, mental rest; clear your heads, show some accountability.”
“In the four years I have been with the team, as a clinical performance overseas, this win has to be the best. The Johannesburg win in South Africa was gutsy, on a nasty track. Here we stood out in all three departments.”
India have the opportunity to become only the second team in cricket history to bounce back after losing the first two Tests. But Shastri, when asked about it, said: “I was not even born then! One match at a time, live in the present. It’s not over. We must forget this win, move to Southampton and start afresh. 2018!”
Shastri said India’s thumping will make England think twice before asking them to bat first in the last two Tests. He declared the pace attack as easily India’s all-time best.
‘WE CAN WIN SERIES’
Skipper Virat Kohli, named Man of the Match, praised the team’s belief after losing the first two Tests. “We definitely believe we can (win the series). It wouldn’t be 2-1 now if we didn’t believe that.”
He dedicated the win to victims of the Kerala floods. “First and foremost, we as a team want to dedicate the victory to the flood victims back home in Kerala. People are going through a lot, and this is the least we can do,” he said at the presentation function.
“It is a very pleasing performance in all three departments -- a complete Test for us,” he said. “We just want to keep pushing forward, and keep wanting to win. It doesn’t matter who takes the wickets or scores runs.”
Kohli said India’s turnaround was due to the batsmen taking responsibility. “The bowling group was eager to take those 20 wickets again -- the question was what we could do as batsmen to give them that cushion. When both skills come together with slip catching, we win Test matches. Everything came together for us.
“They’re a quality bowling attack and you need grit to score against them, and that’s what Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane) in the first innings and Puji (Cheteshwar Pujara) in the second showed. I want to dedicate my innings to my wife (Anushka Sharma), he was here. She’s motivated me a lot, keeps pushing me. She has copped a lot and she deserves this.
“The most pleasing thing for me is the four fastest bowlers in the series are all Indians. We’ve worked on our fitness, on our mindset, cutting down on loose deliveries. They’re getting better and better the more Test cricket they’ve played. It’s a delight to watch when they’re running in,” he smiled.
First Published: Aug 22, 2018 18:34 IST