Mumbai: Having steamrolled England today by an innings and 36 runs to seal the series, captain Virat Kohli described India’s triumph against the visitors as the best so far under his leadership.
“Out of the five series that we’ve won, this is the best by far, because of the quality of the opposition, and the kind of cricket that we’ve played. We’re very proud of that, and for me as a captain, this is definitely on top,” said Kohli after the thumping victory.
Kohli has literally led from the front by accumulating 640 runs from the first four Tests and his magnificent 235 in this game here at the Wankhede Stadium helped the team reply strongly to England’s challenging first innings score of 400 with 631.
Kohli, however, said the series triumph, that was sweet revenge for having tasted defeat against the same opponents, three times in a row, did not come on a platter.
“I don’t think it’s been easy. We have been put under pressure many times. I think I would give my team a lot of credit for bouncing back from those tough situations. We haven’t got anything on the platter. We have had to work hard for it. And it’s been a result of constant pressure that we have forced the opposition to make mistakes.
“With the bat as well we have shown really good character to come back into the game, showing enough patience, more than the opposition, so I would credit my team than calling it an easy series. No series win is easy, especially not this one.
“We know England is a quality Test side and we knew that they will try to bounce back. Even in this game after being 2-0 down, they put 400 runs in the first innings. This is not a team that will throw in the towel. They will fight, and we saw another example of it.
“This is what Test cricket is all about. If you are a champion team, you have to play like a champion team to win series and that’s what we did.”
He also said the pitches in this series have been more true than in the preceding one against New Zealand which his side won 3-0.
“All wickets have been good cricket wickets and we have had to play good cricket to win these three Tests, and none of the matches have been surrendered by the opposition.
“We have used more in-out fields in this series than we did in the New Zealand series so it is pretty evident that the wickets have been better and England have applied themselves more than what New Zealand did. I think new Zealand had lack of experience apart from just Kane and Ross.”
Kohli said that the best advice he had received from Sachin Tendulkar after his poor run in England in 2014 was not to read what’s written about him and captaincy has taken him off the reading and brooding about part.
“The best advice was not to read and look up things that are written about me. I am not joking or being sarcastic, and that was the best advice I have gotten. That was one thing that kept pulling me back as far as Test cricket was concerned.
“I don’t know somehow people enjoyed calling me not a good Test player and it inspired me further to do extra well in this format. Being captain I took my mind more off those things because I didn’t have to read up or hear what people had to say about me. It was all about thinking what the team has to do and that has helped me immensely to stay focused on what I have to do on the field.”