Despite multiple moments of heated arguments involving different players from both the teams spread throughout the Test, India captain Virat Kohli was the first to walk up and shake hands with opponents James Anderson and Mark Wood on Monday. India had just registered a famous win at Lord’s and Kohli, after his customary screams, several fist pumps and gestures towards the crowd, walked up to Anderson, against whom he had a verbal exchange on Day 4. Anderson, like a true sportsman, was quick to reciprocate it with a smile.
It was a hard-fought Test match between two of the most competitive sides in world cricket with the likes of Kohli, Anderson, Bumrah, Buttler, Root, Robinson getting involved in banters and sledging at different times during the five days but as soon as the match ended, it was all buried.
This has been the hallmark of this Indian team. They play hard, like KL Rahul said at the post-match presentation, all XI of them like to give it back to the opponents if any of the Indian cricketers are targeted like Bumrah and Shami were while batting on the final day but Kohli’s gesture towards the end showed, Team India is also a firm believer of not dragging the on-field tussles away from it.
Kohli said that the verbal altercation between England players and the two Indian tail-enders Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah spurred them to go flat out at the home team in 60 available overs.
And Indians eventually got the job done in 51.5 overs with pacers producing a high-quality show to dismiss England for 120.
“Super proud of the whole team. The way we stuck to our plans after being put in. The pitch didn’t offer much in the first three days. First day was the most challenging,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation.
“The way we played in the second innings after being put under pressure – Jasprit and Shami were outstanding. We had the belief we can get them out in 60 overs. The tension in the field in our second innings, what happened there, helped us,” Kohli, who had sledged Ollie Robinson during the fag end of the second innings, said.
The tension and flare-ups between the two teams were palpable but Root said there was no bad blood between them.
“Virat’s got his style and his way of doing things that’s probably contrasting naturally to the way I play my cricket. Fair play to Virat and his team, they’ve jumped on something emotional that’s given them an edge and something to cling on to tactically.