India captain Virat Kohli on Monday credited the hosts’ excellent batting performance for the victory in the second cricket Test against England.
India rode on a superb bowling performance to take eight wickets in a little over one session on the fifth and final day to beat England by 246 runs in the second match of the five-Test series at the ACA-VDCA Stadium on Monday.
Chasing 405, England lost wickets at frequent intervals to end their second innings at 158.
Starting the final day at the overnight score of 87/2, the England batsmen could not handle the turn and uneven bounce of the fifth day pitch as the Indian bowlers wrested the advantage.
The Indians had decided to bat first after winning the toss, managing to produce a big total of 455 runs in their first innings. The Indian batsmen did reasonably well in the second innings as well, putting up 204 runs in difficult conditions which Kohli felt put extra pressure on England.
“We needed to make sure that we batted long, bat over five sessions. We needed to get more than 450 runs to put pressure on the opposition. That is exactly what we did. From there the bowlers are always on top.
“Scoreboard pressure is something that really counts in Test cricket. You saw that with the big total on the board. There was not much happening in the wicket, but the batsmen succumbed to it. They knew they cannot afford to make any mistakes. It was tough in the second innings. We had to dig it out. The idea was to go there and show intent, be positive, get as many runs as possible,” Kohli said after the end of the match.
“I was pretty confident that I was striking the ball well, so I can take on the bowlers before they can put pressure on us and we can put runs on the board.”
The Indian Test captain also heaped praise on debutant off-spinner Jayant Yadav.
The 26-year-old from Haryana picked up three wickets in the second innings for a match haul of four wickets. He was useful with the bat as well, scoring 35 and 27 in the first and second innings respectively.
“Biggest positives is the way the fast bowlers bowled and Jayant Yadav. We need to start off in our Test career like that. One wicket in the first innings, three in the second, brilliant with the bat. Showed great character. He stuck it out in the end as well. He and (Mohammed) Shami managed about 45 runs in the last wicket. So it is always priceless, those contributions,” Kohli said.
“For that young man to play his first game and show the character he did shows the kind of nurturing and the kind of cricket he has played at the first class level,” he added.
“I am really happy with the kind of start he has.”
Kohli was also impressed with Yadav’s maturity and the way he has gone about planning to get the England batsmen out.
“The rest of the bowers have been playing Test cricket for a while. But for a young guy to come in and have the vision to pick up wickets and tell me the field he wants and the lines he is going to bowl to get the batsman out. For a captain it is the extra assurance that this guy knows what he is doing and he is going to do the job for me,” he said.
“Even the reds of the ball and the speed that he bowled with. I knew as a batsman that the (England) batsmen are uncomfortable. They were finding it hard because he was pitching it in the right places.
“He knows what he is doing, more importantly. That was conveyed to the batsmen. So it was lovely to have all five bowlers who can pick up wickets in crucial stages,” Kohli added.
Kohli however warned that the Indians must not get complacent and strive to maintain their dominance during the third Test in Mohali as well.
“We have been playing some really good cricket. We do not have to be complacent at all. We understand that. But at the same time We do not want to be too desperate.
“I think we maintained a nice momentum as far as the first two games are concerned. We have come back from tough situations. We respect the team that England is. They are going to play quality cricket in Mohali and from thereon in the series as well,” he said.
“So we need to strike the right balance of not getting too desperate and at the same time not relaxing either.”