England v India: Virat Kohli says commentators’ criticism fired up tailenders

India captain Virat Kohli said criticism from commentators motivated his tailenders in the 151-run win over England in the second Test at Lord’s.

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah shared an unbroken stand of 89 for the ninth wicket to effectively end England’s hopes of victory.

Set 272 to win or bat 60 overs to draw, the hosts were bowled out for 120.

“Someone told our tailenders that the commentary teams didn’t rate them. They proved them wrong,” said Kohli.

“They made a point. It took a lot of character to play in these circumstances and they put their hand up for the team.”

India were 209-8 – leading by 182 – when Shami and Bumrah came together.

Shami averaged 11.23 in Tests before this match – he had survived eight balls per innings on average in the past three years – while Bumrah was averaging 3.55.

However, aided by England captain Joe Root’s decision to spread the field and bowl short, Shami hit 56 not out from 70 balls and Bumrah an unbeaten 34 off 64, Test-best scores for both players.

England lost openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley in the first two overs, before slipping to 67-5 when Joe Root fell for 33 three balls after tea.

Despite Jos Buttler’s 25 off 96 balls, India wrapped up victory with 8.1 overs to spare as Mohammed Siraj claimed 4-32 and Bumrah 3-33.

“This win is right up there,” said Kohli. “It is one of our best.

“To get a result like that within 60 overs, on day five, was outstanding, particularly on a pitch that didn’t offer that much to the bowlers.

“It was all about heart and desire and the team showed that.”

Pace bowler Siraj, who is on his first tour of England, bowled James Anderson to seal victory and claim match figures of 8-128.

Kohli said “belief is oozing out” of the 27-year-old pace bowler, who made his Test debut against Australia in December.

“He was just so pleased he was playing at Lord’s and you could see that passion to play for his country,” said Kohli.

There were verbal exchanges between players throughout the Test, with tensions particularly high during an enthralling final day.

Kohli said that “charged” India up and “gave them the motivation” to secure an unlikely victory.

Opener KL Rahul, who was named player of the match for his first-innings 129, said: “If you go after one of us you are going after 11 of us – that is the sort of team we are.”

The third Test of the five-match series gets under way on 25 August.

source: BBC Sport

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