Following India's historic win at Lord’s, KL Rahul stated that the partnership between Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah on the fifth morning and the constant banter throughout got the whole team pumped up. India bowled out England for 120 within the last two sessions to seal a 151-run win.
India, having lost Rishabh Pant early on the final day at Lord’s, staged a remarkable fightback, thanks to a crucial and eventful 89-run stand for the ninth wicket between Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. The pair then took over with the ball, in company of fellow quicks Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj, to power the visitors on their third Test win at the Home of Cricket.
The subplot however, was the constant verbal banter between the players from either teams, including one involving Virat Kohli and James Anderson. A major flashpoint came during the final moments of Day 3, when Bumrah hurled short-pitched stuff at Anderson in a 10-ball over. On Monday, the visitors had a go against Bumrah and Shami during India’s second innings, and every shot played by the pair was greeted with huge cheers from the balcony. The visitors, led by skipper Kohli, collectively gave it back when they took the field later in the day.
KL Rahul cited the collective team spirit as a major factor for the team’s impressive show.
"Look, personally, it shows how badly both teams want to win”, Rahul said in a virtual press conference. “When both teams go at each other, it shows how badly both teams want to win and that is how Test cricket is played. We as a team are never shy to say a word or two, if someone goes at one of our players and the rest of 10 guys get pumped, that is the kind of team we are.
“If you go after one of our guys, you are going after the whole team. That is why bowlers were really keen to go out there. This is what people come to watch and this highly speaks about how badly each team wants to win.”
The 29-year-old acknowledged the contributions of Shami and Bumrah with the bat, after the pair lifted India from 209/8 to 298/8 by the time of declaration, to build a 271-run lead.
"Look, the partnership between Bumrah and Shami was so good,” Rahul remarked. “When your bowlers go out there and show so much heart, and put up a fight like that, it just pumps you up. The bowlers were waiting to have a crack at England, we knew the declaration would come after the lunch break. The bowlers were really keen and they were looking forward to going out there. We knew the pitch was up and down, so we were very keen as a pack.”
The 29-year-old regarded the win as one of India’s best, more so, after they had gone down by an innings margin at Lord’s on their previous trip in 2018.
“ To go out there and put up a performance like that is very special," he said. “This win will be right up there for me and the team, playing at Lord's, there is always hype about it. As individuals we look forward to it, in 2018 we lost badly here so coming back here and winning will be very special to me."
Earlier, it was Rahul’s well-crafted 129 in India’s first innings that helped the side to a 364-run total. The right-hander was greatly satisfied with his effort and rated the knock as one of his finest in Tests.
“I played with a lot of control and discipline and that is what my plan was and that is what I prepared for,” he said. “To go out there and execute it was really satisfying for me. This hundred is right up there, it is a very memorable innings for me especially because it turned into a match-winning for us."