Kohli credits mutual ‘respect’ among players for 4-0 win

Chennai, Dec 20 (IANS) After guiding India to a record-setting 18th straight Test win, skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday said the 4-0 series win against England is the outcome of the mutual respect and admiration among the players.

India thrashed England by an innings and 75 runs in the fifth and final Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here to register their highest series win against the Englishmen since the 3-0 win in 1992-93.

“We worked hard day in, day out, we don’t care what happens outside, lots of respect in the changing room. That’s how we ended up being in a winning position more often than not,” said Kohli, who was adjudged the Player-of-the-Series for his 655 runs in the five-match rubber.

“Everyone saw the character the boys possess and how well we were prepared for the series. Speaks volumes about this team,” he said.

“Absolutely, especially after winning 3-0, coming out and performing like this, evidence of the character in the side. It was evident the way they batted, bowled.”

The 28-year-old Kohli hailed his young guns — opener Lokesh Rahul and middle-order bat Karun Nair — for their grit and stepping up to the occasion.

“We wanted the youngsters to step up, someone like KL (Rahul), then Karun comes in after two Test matches. They got us to a position where there was only one winner,” he said.

“Always a tricky position, score 477 then concede a lead of 281, We understood that if we got a couple of wickets, it could slide pretty quickly, Jadeja doing his job, picking up seven — it was great to watch,” he added.

The Delhi batsman praised the team’s character and how every individual stood up for the team’s cause.

“Every time were we under the pump, we’ve fronted up. The lower order has made outstanding contributions.”

Hailing his pacers, Kohli said: “The pace was up there, consistency, better than theirs and that makes me very proud.”

Praising his side for winning on sporting wickets, head coach Anil Kumble said: “Everyone has come in and contributed and we have won on fantastic wickets, despite losing the toss.”

The legendary leg-spinner also lauded Nair as a “long-term prospect” for his efforts with the willow in the first innings of the Chennai Test.

The 25-year-old converted his maiden ton into triple century to be awarded the Man-of-the-Match.

“Karun helped us get to 280 (ahead) and that gave us an opportunity. We all knew about his ability, we were disappointed with the first couple of knocks he had, but as soon as he got going he showed what he is capable of,” Kumble said.

“He’s a long-term prospect, in his third match to score a triple-hundred is fantastic,” he added.