Minutes after Virat Kohli was given a bottle of champagne at the post-match ceremony, he walked into the dressing room and handed it to Ravi Shastri. It is learnt that this was Kohli’s way of thanking the coach for standing by him in thick and thin.
Earlier in the day, the dressing room attendants at Trent Bridge had sensed the mood of the team that was on the verge of victory and had brought in crates of beer. However, they were in for a surprise as only a few of the support staff helped themselves with the beverage. Surprised, the attendants asked a few players whether they wanted to raise a toast. Even a few support staff asked them the same. But they were told by players that this is just a Test match win, and they will celebrate only after the series was secured.
Perhaps had they won on Tuesday evening, instead of having to come back next morning, the celebrations would have been more spontaneous. Even the celebrations on the field after the win were muted. They just shook hands and walked away. Not long after, Shastri would come to meet the press and say that the team was intent on being the best travelling team in the world. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, at the press conference after the match, Shastri reeled out book blurbs, pithy statements one after another, in that aggressively brisk voice of his.
“Clear your heads and show me some accountability,” was his advice to the team before the third Test. “Very little practice, mental rest,” was the message immediately after Lord’s debacle. “Get ugly, look dirty, show grit and determination,” was his call to batsmen. “By a mile. No team comes close,” on how this bowling unit (including Bhuvneshwar Kumar) for the last couple of years is India’s best over bowling attack.