Virat Kohli expects response from India after crushing Headingley defeat to England

Captain backs his players to fight back at The Oval

Virat Kohli expects India to thrive under the "doubts" placed on the team after the one-sided loss in the third Test against England at Headingley, while Joe Root has called on his side to push on from their victory.

England thrashed India by an innings and 76 runs on the fourth day of the Test on Saturday to level the five-match series, with the fourth starting at The Oval on Thursday.

Kohli, 32, said the short turnaround time will not be an obstacle to put the defeat behind them.

"We like to be in this situation where people start coming at us with doubts and really start questioning the ability of our team," Kohli said.

"That is the situation we love best. I can guarantee you one thing - that we will not be demoralised by this loss.

"The guys in the changing room are hurt. And when they are hurt they badly want to correct the things that didn't go well in this game. That is how we are going to play the next two Test matches."

Kohli refused to criticise individuals for the defeat and said the entire batting unit failed in the first innings, when India were out for 78, while the bowling group was also not consistent enough.

The team will be open to rotate players to give them a rest during the long series but will not look to draft in an extra batsman in the remaining fixtures as it would upset their preferred balance, Kohli added.

The visiting team, ranked second in the world in tests, had a strong chance to win the opening Test in Nottingham before rain forced a draw while they beat England comprehensively at Lord's to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

"This game has been kind of an aberration in how we have gone this series," he said. "You can't become a bad team overnight.

"It all depends on your mindset, how you arrive in the next game. And I can assure you that we'll arrive with a lot more determination and a lot more intensity than we had in this game."

England captain Root, meanwhile, has said his team have the quality to consistently deliver performances similar to their crushing win at Headingley.

"I've always known what we're capable of doing. Everyone in this group has shown that they're good enough to perform and to deliver performances like that collectively," Root said.

"One thing we need to keep getting better at is being more consistent and doing that time and time again. And (Headingley) is a great template for us to work from.

"As a batting group, we made that big first innings score. As a bowling group, we were relentless. That's the sort of thing that over time, we need to just keep doing more and more of."

Root emphasised the need for consistent big partnerships with the bat after leading the way with his 121, while Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan all scored half-centuries.

"Now we've done it once this series, there's no reason why we can't take this forward," he said. "We've shown that we can stand up to these guys in our own way and do it in our own manner as a side and really put them back under pressure. We've got a great opportunity now with two games to go to do just that.

The victory also made Root the most successful test captain for England with the result giving him his 27th win, one more than Michael Vaughan.

"I'm living my boyhood dream," he said. "I couldn't be more proud to have gone past Michael but you don't do that on your own as captain – it's down to the group of players and the coaching staff as well."

The fourth Test will be played without wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who will miss the match to attend the birth of his second child, England's cricket board (ECB) said on Sunday.

However, all-rounder Chris Woakes has been added to the England squad after recovering from a heel injury, and he will be joined by Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings, who has been brought in as cover for Buttler.

Updated: August 29th 2021, 4:58 PM
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