After a resounding 151-run victory against hosts England at the Home of Cricket, the Indian team will set foot at Headingley in Leeds for the third Test match starting on Wednesday, 25th August. The five-Test match series is part of the second edition of the World Test Championship, with the visiting side 1-0 up after their historic triumph at Lord's.
On the eve of the third Test, skipper Virat Kohli in a press conference highlighted the mindset of the young Indian contingent in the longest format of the game. He said, "I said after the first Test that we were very disappointed that Day Five did not happen. 150 to get with nine wickets in hand, we absolutely felt confident that we were going to get the result. The second Test we approached with the same kind of intensity and the will to win.
"It was very satisfying, as I said after what had transpired the morning of Day Five, and it shows that this team is not going to back down and take a backward step when being provoked. We play together, we play to win, and we don't let anyone or any opposition just take us lightly. We know, and they know that we are always going to compete and find ways to win games of cricket and take a chance wherever it is in front of us".
OUT! TEAM INDIA HAS WON WITH 8 OVERS TO SPARE! 🇮🇳— Sony Sports (@SonySportsIndia) August 16, 2021
India take 1-0 lead in the series 🙌🏽
Tune into Sony Six (ENG), Sony Ten 3 (HIN), Sony Ten 4 (TAM, TEL) & SonyLIV (https://t.co/AwcwLCPFGm ) now! 📺#ENGvINDOnlyOnSonyTen #ENGvIND #Siraj pic.twitter.com/XDathfvy6G
With conditions conducive for swing and seam in England, the opening combination of the Indian team has been phenomenal with the bat all through the series, and Kohli believes they are the most critical aspects when touring overseas.
"The opening combination, obviously when you are playing overseas, is the most or one of the most important factors as a team when you want to achieve the goals you set out for yourself. The way KL and Rohit have played has been outstanding. We hope that they continue in the same manner because the opening partnership in the overseas condition is crucial to set up the right platform from where the team can build on, and that is something they have provided us in both Tests.
"We were in a winning position in the first game, and we ended up winning the second game as well after being put in. It is purely because of the way they applied themselves, the skill and precision with which they approached the innings, and that is a big boost for us," he said.
While KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma laid a solid foundation with the bat, one of the key architects of India's win at the Mecca of Cricket with eight wickets across innings was Mohammed Siraj. In the final hour of Day Five, Siraj ripped through the batting unit of the opposition to help India record a famous win on foreign soil.
View this post on Instagram
Skipper Kohli heaped praises on the fast bowling sensation by saying, "He is the guy who has the skill, he is a very skilful bowler, but you need the confidence to back that skill and that Australia series really provided him with that boost and that confidence. And now he is walking around knowing that he can get anyone out at any stage, and it is that belief in his game that's elevated to the next level, and hence you see results. So the skill was always there, but the confidence and execution is very different now."