“Rohit Sharma’s knock of 161 runs brought us back into the series,” says Virat Kohli

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Virat Kohli earned his tenth consecutive Test series win at home, after defeating England 3-1 in the four match Test series. After being defeated by the visitors in the first Test, India came storming back into the series, outplaying Root’s men in the final three Tests. India’s last Test series defeat at home came way back in 2012, when an England team led by Alastair Cook defeated the hosts, 2-1.

With the series win, India booked a place in the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand at Lords. Kohli reserved his praise for two match-winners in the Indian squad, Ravi Ashwin and Rohit Sharma. “Ashwin has obviously been a banker for us in the past six-seven years in Test cricket. His numbers speak volumes of what he has done in the last few years,” Kohli commented on the off-spinner.

Virat Kohli stated that Rohit’s knock of 161 runs in the second test in Chennai brought back the hosts into the series. “Rohit’s knock was the defining moment in us coming back into the series. Getting 160 (161) on that pitch is as good as getting 250 on any good batting wicket. It is definitely one of his best Test knocks, if not the best. That gave us the kind of momentum we needed as a side and it really got us into the contest. So, yeah, it was an outstanding innings,” Kohli said.

“He batted really well at the top of the order throughout the series, he gave us important knocks, important partnerships as well which is unnoticed when you don’t get those three figures,” he added.

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Our bench strength has been as strong as it has ever been: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli believes that seeing the likes of Axar Patel, Washington Sundar and Rishabh Pant step up in the series was a major plus point. The Indian skipper added that their bench strength was the strongest it had ever been. Axar Patel turned around the series for the hosts, picking up 27 wickets in just three Test matches. Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar stitched together a remarkable partnership in the first innings of the last Test, that paved the way for a victory.

“Our bench strength has been as strong as it has ever been. That’s a great sign for Indian cricket. The idea was exactly this: to have youngsters who come in and perform with fearlessness, take the situations on so that when the transition happens eventually it is not difficult for Indian cricket and the standard does not fall below what we have set in the last few years,” Kohli said.

“It is up to the individuals as well, like taking the situation on, like Rishabh and Washy did with that game-changing partnership and then Axar as well – a 100-run partnership. These are the kind of situations where individuals stand up and say: ‘okay, I’m going to make a mark and be that player who can be counted on.’ That is what exactly what they have done,” the skipper added.