Virat Kohli didn’t second coach Ravi Shastri’s views, who stated that had India had visited South Africa early the result could have been different, claiming that preparation was not an issue for them. The skipper also added that the team is looking to correct all the mistakes that have happened.
Team India’s decision to cancel the practice matches in South Africa ahead of the Test series has come back to bite them following their dismal display in the last two Tests. After India conceded the series in Centurion, the Indian coach had stated that if the team had played those practice matches then it could definitely have helped the side seeing the result differently. However, skipper Kohli has contradicted his coach, stating that performance was not an issue.
"I personally don't feel that we didn't feel prepared starting this series. I won't sit here and point that out after losing a Test series. We had a week to prepare ourselves, five days because one day we were travelling. So we had that, and we went ahead with that”, said Kohli ahead of the third Test, as quoted by Cricinfo.
"We are not going to sit and think of outside factors that made us lose. It was our errors, our mistakes of not capitalising on situations that led us to the result being 2-0 so far. I am not pinpointing anything else, I think those talks are left for later planning for future," he added.
The third Test of the series will start today in Johannesburg where India played their last Test match in December 2013. Under MS Dhoni’s captaincy then, Indian had managed to draw the game, thanks to Kohli who had scored 119 and 96 in the two innings. And the skipper seems to get back his form at the right time again as his 153-run knock saw India closing the margin in the first innings of the Centurion.
"I always love playing at this stadium, it's a great vibe, I feel really good when I walk into this ground. The last time's Test match was very special and hopefully, we can have as exciting a cricket as we had last time this time too."
India’s record at Wanderers Stadium has been good. They won the World T20 final in 2007 there and haven’t lost a single game of the four Tests they have played. Apart from 2013, Indian played out draws in 1992 and 1997 and even went on to defeat the home side in 2006. In 2013, India had the chance to better their record by winning the second Test at Wanderers, however, their dominance in the match failed to turn it into a win as AB de Villiers scored a century in second innings.
"Yeah, we'd love to have another situation where we can capitalise and this time around actually consolidate on it and bring the Test towards us rather than let it slip away again. As a team, we are looking to correct all the mistakes that have happened. Wanderers has been a special venue for us, hopefully we can play the same kind of cricket."
Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander have been South Africa’s biggest weapons in both the Tests against India, as they jointly took 18 wickets in four innings. And Kohli sounded quite concerned about them ahead of game on the bouncy Wanderers pitch.
"Although there is more grass on the wicket this time. The pace and bounce will probably be similar to what it was in 2013 also. Their bowling attack is slightly different but [Morne] Morkel and [Vernon] Philander are playing, which was the case last time also. Look we have to take the positives from that Test, what worked for us, what other things we have to repeat again to be able to perform in this game or this venue,” said Kohli.
In the first two Tests, Indian batsmen seemed struggling on the Rainbow nation soil and Kohli also considered as one of the errors.
"Everyone has been spoken to individually," Kohli said. "The discussions have happened as to what went wrong, what happened, why it happened and the guys have taken it well. And as I said, any time you step on to the field, you have an opportunity to correct your mistakes, and that's how you progress at the international level. I am sure everyone is looking forward to rectifying those mistakes, and then if they are in the same positions, consolidating those positions."