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Virat Kohli : We don't need dry, square turners to win

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SportsCafe Desk

11/30/2016

After winning the third Test of the series, Virat Kohli has slammed the pitch critics by saying that the team has proved that they don't depend on pitches to win. The Indian skipper has also praised the bowling department and termed the stunning comeback of Parthiv as a good headache.

India thrashed South Africa last year, but the talk surrounding the victory was more about the strips rather than the quality of the players. Everyone from the media to the former cricketers had blamed the Indian team of doctoring the wickets to suit their needs in order to attain victory. However, a year later, having defeated New Zealand 3-0 and now leading the series against England 2-0, every talk about the pitch has been put to the rest.

After taking an unassailable lead in the series against England, Virat said, “I think it’s exactly been 12 months when I was asked about us playing on unfair pitches and the question has turned itself. So we don’t need to say much about the pitches. We are a team that is focused on playing good cricket and win sessions and win situations, or if we are in trouble, come back out from those tough situations.

“This was a perfectly good wicket for cricket. If you talk about the pace bowlers, they rushed in and put in the effort and they got the results. It was a wicket where if you persisted long enough, you get the results that you want. I felt that we did that pretty well to get the result our way. Even when we played in Kolkata earlier this year, we showed that we are not a side that wants square turners. We have enough skill to play good cricket and win against any team. That’s the kind of belief we have created in the change room and that can only happen when you are not worried about what’s happening outside that door. You focus on your skills and strengths and move along.”

India now have an excellent fast-bowling attack both in the playing eleven and on the bench to complement their quality spin options. 

Praising the bowlers, Kohli said, “It obviously boosts your confidence up a notch. With quality bowlers in your reserves as well, as captain you can ask your bowlers to push in every game that they play. We still have Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar sitting and waiting for their chance to play. Both are quality bowlers. Even in spin, Amit Mishra hasn’t played yet, so the good thing is that whoever is playing, they are standing up and making their presence felt. That as a captain is very pleasing, especially in a game like this where you lose the toss and get the opposition out for 280 (283) on a flat wicket. It really gives you confidence as a bowling unit that you are on top and you are dictating terms.”

Mohammed Shami had made a comeback to cricket in the Caribbean tour after spending 15 months away from the game due to a severe knee injury. But that didn’t deter him from continuing his lethal display as he effortlessly slipped back into the role of the pace spearhead, and has been nicely complemented by Umesh Yadav.

“Yes, Shami is a better bowler since his return. He’s stronger, because he had to train that extra bit because it was a knee injury and one leg was weaker than the other, obviously, because he couldn’t do anything with it.

“He came back, trained really hard, really precise with his training and he is rushing in much more now. He is able to sustain that energy now for a four-five good overs and he’s bowling long spells. He’s become more aware of what he wants to do and what he has to do to be a good Test bowler and he’s making those important breakthroughs. If you see throughout these three games, he’s someone who has really rushed in and even Umesh for that matter, they both have bowled over 145 kph consistently. On these kind of pitches to not lose heart and keep coming in and running in and bouncing guys speaks a lot of their character. I’m only waiting to play on pitches that assist them a little bit and it’ll be nice to see what they can do there. They are pretty happy with their roles. They are not getting desperate for too many wickets. They come in, chip in and they let the others do their job as well,” Kohli added.

Acknowledging Parthiv Patel's successful comeback to the national team after eight years, Virat said that it will be a good headache for the selectors when Wriddhiman Saha returns from his injury layoff.

“That’s actually a good headache, to be honest. You never know, there are all kinds of possibilities. We’ll see what happens in the next few days. We’ll take a call accordingly,” Kohli said.

 

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