Mumbai, India skipper Virat Kohli today described his team’s emphatic win over England as one of the “sweetest” in recent times.
India today removed the remaining four England wickets in the morning after they had resumed their second innings at 182 for 6 to script a massive win, which also helped the hosts to grab an unassailable 3-0 lead over the visitors in the five-Test series.
“It’s a very special feeling. The way the crowd came out here and supported it helped us push through the tough moments. I’m very grateful that it came off for us. This series win is probably the sweetest we’ve had in recent times,” said Kohli.
Kohli, who was adjudged the Man of the match for his double ton, said the moment India had taken a huge first innings lead, they knew it was just a matter of time.
“The 231-run lead deflated the opposition, we saw their body language and knew the game was wrapped up when we had that lead,” he said.
The 28-year-old said he was a bit nervous ahead of the match but setting realistic targets helped him as he blasted 235 — his third double hundred this season.
“We haven’t played on Indian wickets with too much bounce so the adjustment was very important. The plan was to get stuck in, I got away quickly,” Kohli said.
“I was nervous before this game. We had a bit of a collapse so buckled down again. I kept the targets realistic, level the scores first then thought about the lead. An hour or two can change the complexion of the game.
“Credit to everyone. Vijay played a champion knock and it speaks volumes of his character. For Jayant, too, it couldn’t have been any better. I was pretty focused on this game, a chance to seal the series.”
After the Kohli-Jayant show, it was R Ashwin, who returned with six-wicket haul to dismiss England for 195 in their second innings.
Kohli said:”We are running out of words to describe Ashwin. The impact he has had on this team. The batsmen have played second fiddle to his performances. Any team would love to have him. It’s very difficult to get past him.”
Virat also rubbed it in stating that they knew England would suffer because they did not have an extra spinner in their ranks.
“Both their spinners (Moeen and Rashid) bowled more than 50 overs and we knew that they would be bowling bad balls.
Also when you bowl your pacers less in this kind of a track, they lose confidence because when they are brought into the attack, they think of restricting runs rather than taking wickets.”
His counterpart Alastair Cook was left rued the missed chances and lost opportunities which saw them suffer their third defeat and lose the five-Test.
“I thought 400 was a pretty good score on that wicket.
Keaton played really well, at 230 for 2 maybe should have got 450. Historically, 400 is a good score on this ground. In the second innings, we had our chances. We aren’t taking those chances at the moment,” Cook said.
“Virat played an extraordinary innings but we had a chance on 60-odd to get him. Those are things that the game changes on. We are in it for three days but not good enough to stay in it. We have not been good enough to match India.”
England also did the tactical blunder of coming into the match with four seamers and Cook admitted it was a mistake to not have an extra spinner.
“We wanted to see what four seamers would look like because on the tour they have given us control and our two best spinners have been Mo (Moeen Ali) and Rash (Adil Rashid),” Cook said.
“When you batted first you didn’t need that extra seamer, so that was a mistake. We had a chance to restrict the lead.
We would have been in the game. But that isn’t really good enough.
“To me, we batted better in this game than the previous two. I go back to the chances we missed, we could have bowled India out for 400.”
Asked about Kohli, Cook said: “Virat is in incredible form, having one of the series you dream of. Clearly one of the great batsmen of our generation.”
India and England will next play the fifth and final Test at Chennai starting on December 16.