Virat Kohli praises Team India's "new" team culture

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BCCI

Virat Kohli praises Team India's "new" team culture

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SportsCafe Desk

08/16/2017

Virat Kohli has affirmed that the new team culture is letting the young players mature quickly which has been beneficial for Indian cricket. The captain also added that the team is like a bunch of friends playing together, accepting each other’s personalities, and believing in each other.

Virat Kohli has praised the new team culture in the Indian cricket side stating that the Men in Blue have left behind the culture of judging and picking on the newcomers. His review has been interpreted as a dig at earlier tenure, possibly in teams before his captaincy, or the one that Anil Kumble coached (where Kohli was the captain of the side).

"Culture can only be built when everyone buys into it. And the way that can happen is when you don't have any judgments, people coming in and if you don't look at them with a critical eye, watching everything they are doing and trying to pick on small things. I think that is something that we have gotten rid of totally”, said Kohli pointing towards the emergence of a new culture, reported Cricinfo. 

Ravi Shastri replaced Anil Kumble as the coach, drawing a line between the two tenures. Kumble tendered his resignation following his problematic relationship with his captain and the complaint of some players referring to his intimidating style of man-management. Kohli explained more about the new culture of the team and how the players have a mutual bond that enables them to perform better and reach even greater heights.

"In this team, we are more like a bunch of friends playing together rather than a senior or a junior. We don't even think of the number of games an X has played or a Y has played within the change room. It is all about who you see every day. You can joke around with anyone inside the group, and that I feel is something that makes me feel proud of this particular unit," Kohli added.

"The way we have embraced each other and accepted each other with our different personalities and individuality and that is the reason why people coming in feel like they don't have to do anything different from what they know already. It gives them an opportunity to go out there and believe in themselves and you never know.

"If you keep the environment like that, then people will take lesser time to go out there and become mature cricketers because they don't feel any pressure from the group itself. That I feel is something we all are proud of because we have been able to create that together."

The Test series, against Sri Lanka, turned out to be the test of the team's ruthlessness more than its unity. On the final day of the series, nine wickets were required to win, Kohli found a fascinating way to keep the team motivated. 

"We spoke about it in the morning, treat this as day five of an away tour, probably a series-defining Test match where we'll have to get an opposition out within 60-70 overs, so take that attitude on the field and try to wrap up things and understand how that can be done," the Indian captain said.

"We wouldn't have situations all the time where we'll get 600, 500 and then we'll have a chance to bat again and give a large total, sometimes we will have to enforce the follow-on and it could be series-defining. It could be something special for the team. So try making those habits from here on, let's start being a bit more uncomfortable as a team, embrace pressure situations, look to put in that extra effort for the team.”

"Also, understanding that we don't play Test matches until December now, so... The guys were willing to give it all, and we took this as an opportunity to learn as a group together. So we keep finding different situations and scenarios where we can challenge ourselves as a team first before we look at the opposition. Again today was another opportunity for us to challenge ourselves, and I'm glad the way the guys stood up for it", Virat said. 

When Kohli was asked about the difference between coming out of a high-intensity series against Australia into this low-key contest the 28-year-old replied, "If you differentiate your level of motivation and intensity according to oppositions, then you're judging oppositions differently."

"The reason we've been successful so far is because we treat a cricket game like a cricket game, which is executing the abilities that we can execute to the best of our potential, not looking at who we are playing against. We want to consolidate every situation, we want to make sure that we're correcting things along the journey and that's the mindset we want to take forward also. You can't raise your intensity or lower your intensity according to your oppositions because that I feel is disrespecting the sport."

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