India thrashed England by 157 runs to complement the winning tag of the Oval test and successfully attained 2-1 dominance in the five-match series. England, chasing the mammoth total of 368 runs, were wrapped-up and lined in the pavilion for 210 runs after tea, as India triumphed the match in 92nd over of the second inning. “This is among the top three bowling performances I have witnessed as India captain," Proud Indian skipper applauded the bowling unit with a tranquil smile on face.
Kohli back-stepped from emphasizing the flat quality of Oval wicket and the strategy team formulated to aim for a win in a most probable draw-result but Indian skipper regularly talked about ‘strong character’ shown by each and every member of the Indian squad even after conceding a troublesome 99-run lead.
“It's quite relative what you call flat. The conditions were hot and we knew we were in with an opportunity when Jadeja was bowling in the rough. The bowlers were good with the reverse swing today. We believed we could get all 10 wickets, we had the belief," said Kohli.
"Well, I think the best thing about both the games (Lord's and Oval) has been the character the team has shown. We are not looking to survive in this game, we are here to win. Really proud of the character the team has shown."
Bumrah unleashed the show-stealer performance on the final day of the game by quickly getting rid of middle-order heroes of first inning Ollie Pope (for 2 runs) and sending off Jonny Bairstow for a duck on a deadly toe-hunting Yorker.
Kohli informed in the post match presentation that Bumrah insisted to bowl the momentum-setting over on the final day after analyzing reverse swinging ability of duke cherry in the 67th over of the match.
“As soon as the ball started reversing, Bumrah said give me the ball. He bowled that spell and swung the game in our favour with those two huge wickets," he said.
Kohli also lauded the performance of majestic all-rounder Shardul Thakur who played a crucial role with the bat and then with the ball for India’s emphatic win. "You pointed out his performance. Rohit's innings was fantastic. What Shardul has done in this game stands out. His two fifties deflated the opposition. He batted well in both the innings," he said.
Joe Root, the Brits skipper also admitted the fact that Bumrah’s spell on the final day blocked all hope for the hosts
“Credit to India, they got the ball to reverse. I thought Bumrah's spell was the real turning point of the game," said the home captain.
"It is frustrating not to get something from the game today. We felt we had an opportunity to win. We could have made more of a first-innings lead, and you have to make chances count against world-class players.
"Got to find ways to get better but be realistic and realise that was world-class bowling."
Amongst all the special performances, Rohit Sharma stands tall with his stellar 127-run knock achieved in the second inning of the Oval test and enthroned with the ‘Player of The Match’ title. I wanted to be on the field as much as I could. That hundred was special. We know how important was the second innings. Really glad that I could get the team into an important position," Rohit said.
"The three-figure mark wasn't in my mind, we knew the pressure on the batting unit so we kept our heads down and batted the situation. Once we got the lead. We just wanted to put pressure on the bowlers.
"I know the importance of opening the innings. I am glad I could make it count."
Rohit revealed the fact that team India promptly utilized the long break after the disappointing result of WTC Final and all the hard work is producing results in the challenging series against ‘Three-Lions’.
It's always important to embrace the challenge, it's not going to be easy. Back in Durham we had time off to look at our training and technique and after the World Test Championship final, we had 20-25 days, that was a real game-changer," he said.
Rohit Sharma doesn’t take the field on the final day of the Oval test. When asked about an update about injury, he said, "Looks good at the moment, the message from the physio is that we got to assess every minute."