Despite winning the series and becoming the No.1 Test team in the world, Indian Skipper Virat Kohli believes that only consistent performances will prove his team’s mettle. Kohli also pointed out that the No.1 Test spot was just a temporary incentive unless they win the 4th Test against West Indies.
On Thursday, India climbed to the No.1 in the ICC Test rankings after Sri Lanka defeated Australia in the third and final Test to win the series 3-0. Speaking to reporters ahead of the of the fourth Test at Port of Spain, Kohli played down India’s rise to the top, saying his team’s goal is to play good cricket.
"It’s a nice incentive but it doesn’t really change anything for the team. Our goal has been to play good cricket and we’ve done that in the past year or so. And we want to continue with the same," Kohli said.
Kohli also pointed to India’s rise to top of the rankings in January this year, and said that to really become the best team in the world India will have to play consistent cricket for 3-4 years.
"Even last year, when we beat South Africa, because of some other team losing, we became number one for a brief period. To really become the best team in the world you need to play consistent cricket for a span of 3-4 years. This is pretty immediate and short-term incentive.
"You have to play sustained cricket for a good period of time to be the best team in the world.
“We have played good cricket that’s why we have climbed up the rankings, but if you see we have played lesser number of games than the other teams. It’s only after we play a good number of games that we can be judged. We’ve played good cricket but I think only at the end of the season, we can look back how we have played and then figure out where do we stand,” said the Indian skipper
India had made three changes to their XI at St. Lucia, but the skipper refused to give out more information on the line-up for the fourth Test, saying the team management will take a decision on the morning of the Test.
"One or two spots obviously will be available. But we can’t make too many changes in one series. And with a long season coming up, we are playing games at home too. So we want players to know that they are in the starting eleven so that they can prepare accordingly. We have done that pretty well in the last year and a half," the Delhiite said.
“I had a look at the pitch yesterday (on Tuesday). There were a few damp spots. The covers came on very quickly today (on Wednesday) so I don’t know how much that has dried up. We would name a few more than the eleven tonight before taking a call on what would be the best combination in the morning," Kohli added.
Speaking about his comfort level batting in different positions, Kohli said, "Personally, I don’t have to prepare differently. For me, the mindset matters before I go in to bat. It can be any position but if you are mentally fit you will be able to execute."
India will hold on to their No.1 spot in the Test rankings if they manage to defeat West Indies in the fourth and final Test which will start on Thursday, August 18, 19:30 IST.