Ahead of the second Test match at Eden, skipper Virat Kohli has played down the expectations on the team over the No.1 spot and other records. Kohli also called the pitch a regular Eden Garden wicket but said that India are not going in with any 'pre-planning' allowing room for more flexibility.
After defeating the Black caps by a humongous margin of 197 runs in the first Test at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur, Virat Kohli credited the entire team for the brave show. Ahead of the second Test at the historical Eden Gardens, which will also mark the 250th home Test of the country, Virat Kohli appeared composed.
Kohli ruled out the pressure of securing the numero Uno spot in the Test rankings and said that he doesn’t get carried away by records.
Kohli said, “I don't get motivated by records. If you notice the cricket we played two years ago in Tests and now, it’s easy to get carried away by these records. You will end up focusing on the process. Similarly in batting, when you start your career and set a target that in the first seven years I am going to score this may runs, and then you may end up losing focus on the process after you reach the target. Personally, I don't think about these things. My goal is to play cricket of a certain level and maintain it. No. 1 doesn't matter for us because that is temporary. A lot of competitive are playing and things could change after a series. If you get attached to these things, then you get upset you are not able to do it. It’s better to observe things that are not directly in our control from far.”
He observed that the wicket would be a regular Eden Garden one and would be a good surface to bat on.
Addressing the media, Kohli said, “Yes, I've seen the wicket. It looks like a normal wicket that we expect at Eden Gardens. The surface is pretty nice, it has a little bit of grass covering. It should be a good wicket to bat on.”
Praising Ravindra Jadeja for his uncanny ability to take quick wickets, the Indian skipper said, “What I think is that he used to think too much about Test cricket... about it being too difficult and him having to play differently. I think there are different ways of playing and he certainly has a different way of playing cricket which we feel he shouldn't change. Obviously, he will gain experience and when we come to a situation where we have to play out a session to save a Test match, he will gain that skill as well.”
Jadeja had set up India's win with a fifer in the first innings after the Kiwis had threatened to run away with a first-innings lead with a solid partnership for the second wicket. The all-rounder came back in the second innings to contribute with a quick-fire fifty that helped India up the target swiftly before declaring.
Kohli praised the batting ability of the Saurashtra all-rounder by saying, “I think he needs to get confident and that can only happen by scoring more runs. The other skills will keep adding on at this level. He is feeling more confident about himself, about his contribution. There’s an assurance from the team management to make him feel confident about his batting. Giving him confidence at the nets, giving him practice games. If you make the 60s, 70s and 80s regularly, you start remembering how you did it. Just small targets that we discussed with him and he has responded in a really big way. I am happy with the way that he is contributing with the bat because I felt he always had the skills. It’s just about working harder and making sure the team benefits from the skills. I hope he can keep continuing.”
While India has created a name for itself by playing attacking brand of cricket lately, Virat Kohli said that the team is skilled enough to tackle the opposition.
“Our focus will be to execute our skills as well we can. It’s also about the batsmen on how they play. In the first game they had some good partnerships and you just have to sit back appreciate that. We have come with a plan. I think Test cricket is all about coming back from situations rather than being on top all the time. We expect them to play really good cricket but we expect to bounce back and pull things back if things go their way. We are not pre-planning for any approach. We feel that they come with. If we are pre-planned, then it’s difficult to switch back to other things. We go with a clear head then it’s easy to adapt to a situation put forth in front of us.”