Chennai: Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday heaped praise on Karun Nair, who was adjudged ‘Man of the Match’ in the fifth and the final Test against England, saying that he had never seen any batsman of the country sweeping so well against the spinners.
Karun Nair’s unbeaten 303 and Ravindra Jadeja’s 7 for 48 in the second innings helped India win the final Test match by an innings and 75 runs to finish the five-match series 4-0 against England.
“I have not seen him playing too much first-class cricket. I have seen him playing in the IPL against world-class bowlers. He is someone who had always showed characters; someone who could pull the ball well. He used his feet and could drag the ball well. I have not seen someone currently in India who sweeps so well against spinners,” Kohli said in a post-match conference.
Describing Nair as a ‘complete’ package, Kohli insisted that the former delivered more than the expectations of the team and, therefore, it is important to back players like him.
“He is just a complete package. It is very difficult to find guys like that which have such characters when it comes to batting and that they understand the game so well at such a young age. So, it is important to back guys like Karun. He was always our number one choice as a middle-order batsman and when the chance came for him in the third innings, he had done wonders for the team. I congratulate him. He delivered what we expected him to. He had exceeded our expectations,” the skipper said.
The swashbuckling Indian batsman also gushed over all-rounder Jadeja, who wrecked havoc on the England batsmen in their second innings of the match.
Insisting that bowling at a nice pace is Jadeja’s strength, Kohli believes the all-rounder gives the side the balance that is required in the Test cricket.
“His strength is bowling at a nice pace. And making the batsman think about how long they can defend and that is his strength. If he is bowling that accurately for a long time, invariably the batsman will make a mistake. So, that is what we always banked upon as far as Jadeja is concerned,” Kohli said.
“We as a team always believe that he gives the side the balance that we required in the Test cricket, especially in home conditions it becomes much more lethal but away as well he is someone that can provide the accuracy to the team,” he added.
While talking about the team’s overall performance, Kohli said that it was very satisfying to see his side bouncing back from the drawn first game and win the remaining four Tests.
“I would say it is a complete performance from the time we were put under pressure in the first game to coming back in the next four Test matches, and coming from behind all four games. We lost four tosses and winning three games out of that is very satisfying. As a captain, I feel it is a complete series for us and everyone contributed at different times and especially the lower-order contribution was something that stand out for me in this particular series,” Kohli insisted.
Earlier, resuming Day Five at 12/0, the visitors were bundled out for 207 in the final hour of the day.
Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers as he finished 10 wickets overall, including his career-best second innings figures of seven for 48.
Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra all chipped in with a wicket each. Ravichandran Ashwin did not achieve any success in the second innings.