Jasprit Bumrah, whose sensational spell of reverse-swing bowling on the final day bowled India to a famous 157-run victory at The Oval, revealed that the team did not pay heed to outside noise and always believed they could win despite underperforming with the bat on the very first day of the Test.
India were put into bat after losing the toss and things went awry in no time for the visitors, who in just 53 overs were reduced to 127/7. A counter-punching fifty from Shardul Thakur took their total to a respectable 191 and, from thereon, the visitors did not look back as they fought tooth and nail to register a remarkable win.
Bumrah revealed that the team was desperate to show fight and character after falling behind the eight ball.
"Yes, the wicket was fresh and we didn't score much in the first innings. But we didn't lose shape as a team and didn't think about lot of things that are said and lot of things that are written,” Bumrah said on Monday.
"We wanted to fight till the end and that's the character we wanted to show and things that are going outside is something that we wanted to address later."
By day 5 the pitch had flattened out, and England looked like they would save the game with ease, at the very least, but a stunning spell of reverse-swing bowling from Bumrah rocked the hosts. The other bowlers chipped in too, as they bowled with discipline to make life hell for the hosts.
Bumrah revealed that the plan was to exert pressure on the batsmen and not let the game slip away by conceding easy runs.
"In Test cricket, nothing is easy. Even though it was a very good wicket, you have to bowl in right areas and that's the message you want to communicate. We had decided, even if wicket is on flatter side, we have to create pressure for the longest time.
"We created a lot of pressure in the first hour and we realised that it was a flat wicket and but our job was to not let the game slip away and we are happy to do that."
Bumrah bowled 43 overs in the game but with the WT20 approaching, there are fears that the pacer might be at the risk of breaking down due to excessive workload. The right-armer, in fact, had a mini scare on the second day when he went to the ground clutching his leg before resuming to bowl after being attended to, by the physio.
But dismissing suggestions that he and the team have an eye on the WT20, the 27-year-old insisted that his focus is on the present, and asserted that he will continue pushing himself hard.
"When you play a Test match, you don't realise what has been done before or how many overs you have been able to bowl because right now the focus was on doing the job for the team," Bumrah, who has taken 18 wickets in 151 overs so far in this series, said.
"I want to play longest time for my country so I work hard on gym, on my diet and everything I try to control. I train really well and I have got ammunition inside me and when I want to push, I can push hard.
"I am not thinking too far ahead about the IPL or World Cup because then mentally you can be tired. My focus is on the present, concentrating ball by ball and get results in our favour.”
(With PTI inputs)