Kohli credits India lower order for Mohali win
Virat Kohli said India have their lower order to thank for a victory in Mohali that gave them a 2-0 series lead with two Tests remaining against England.
India cruised to an eight-wicket win on Thursday, knocking off 103 runs for victory after Joe Root (78) and the injured Haseeb Hameed (59 not out) had made them bat twice.
Having bowled England out for 283 in the first innings, Kohli's dismissal for 62 on day two left India on 204-6, facing an uphill battle to secure a big advantage.
However, Ravichandran Ashwin (72), Ravindra Jadeja (90) and Jayant Yadav (55) each batted superbly to put India firmly in control.
"It was amazing to see the lower order contribute," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"The lower-order contribution is a proud achievement. They've been standing out every game and that pushes the opposition back.
"It's the first time in Indian history that numbers seven, eight and nine have struck fifties. That's a brilliant stat. We always thought we needed more resistance from the lower order.
"Ashwin is a champion cricketer, number-one all-rounder in the world, Jadeja is in the top 10 as well, and for Jayant to show the maturity in his first Test. He asked me for the fields he wanted. He took their spinners on."
Kohli also had special praise for seam duo Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, who delivered an over of brilliant aggression to dismiss Chris Woakes (30) and Adil Rashid (0) when England's tail had looked like wagging.
"Umesh and Shami have rushed their batsmen," the captain added.
"When you can bounce them out and intimidate them with the ball, it always pleases you as a captain. They can get you a couple of wickets in the middle when the situation is tough.
"Shami feels the injury has been a blessing in disguise. He's become more hard-working. He feels stronger.
"When the bowler is in that sort of a zone, you have to let him be. He's been a champion for us in the past as well. No worries as such. Really happy with the way the guys have stood up, especially Jadeja with the bat and the fast bowlers."
India will now look for a series-clinching victory in Mumbai starting next week, though the selectors may be forced into a change after KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya succumbed to injury.
Rahul reportedly has a chance to be fit for the fourth Test, but Pandya has been ruled out for six weeks and his participation in the entire ODI series is now in doubt.