'If you go after one of our guys, you are going after the team'
"We as a team are never shy of saying a word or two. Or, if someone goes at one of our guys, the rest of the 10 guys are just really pumped as well. That is the kind of team we are," said KL Rahul
Just after India had declared their innings post-lunch in the second Test against England at Lords, skipper Virat Kohli went into a huddle and gave a pep-talk, the details of which weren't clear. Whatever he said was inspirational enough to a bunch of bowlers that were already fired up.
Opening batsman K.L. Rahul, who was the player of the match, revealed this after the match.
"We knew that after lunch, the declaration would come and bowlers were really keen and looking forward to it, to go out there and each of them knew they will have to bowl 10-12 overs," said Rahul, who made 129 in the first innings.
The target of bowling England out in 60 overs was lip-smacking considering that Indian bowlers Mohammed Shami (56 not out) and Jasprit Bumrah (34 not out) had already put the hosts under the pump with the bat in the first session.
"The partnership between Shami and Bumrah first of all, to start the day… It is so good 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 them. They were really looking forward to it," added Rahul.
"We knew the pitch was up and down and opportunity like this to win a Test doesn't always come, so we were all very, very keen and excited as a pack. So yeah to go out there and put up a performance like that is very, very special."
Generally, England players never get worked up and quietly go about their task. However, the bouncer to James Anderson by Jasprit Bumrah at the end of the third day riled the Englishmen and who took to a war of words on the subsequent and eyed revenge with short deliveries to Bumrah on the fifth morning. It was something that eventually came to bite them back.
When Anderson and Jos Buttler had exchanges with Bumrah, the entire Indian team ganged up and got motivated further.
"We as a team are never shy of saying a word or two. Or, if someone goes at one of our guys, the rest of the 10 guys are just really pumped as well. That is the kind of team we are. That is the kind of atmosphere or the team bonding we have that if you go after one of our guys, that means you are going after the whole team," added Rahul further.
"Like I said the bowlers wanted to go out there and have a crack and we all wanted to be in the middle and give it all in the 60 overs that we were going to bowl. So like I said it is great to see people come to watch. Speaks highly how badly each team wants to win. Really pleased to see both teams play with so much heart."