After a big loss in the third Test in Leeds, Virat Kohli asserted that India relishes situations when their backs are against the wall, and people start doubting them, but they wouldn't be demoralised by anything. He also added that the rotation of bowlers is bound to happen for the next two Tests.
After the epic high of Lord's where India cruised to a memorable win after bulldozing England on the final day, England bounced back strongly at Headingley to level the series 1-1. Going into the fourth day of the Leeds Test, India were in a decent position at 215 for 2 but then disaster struck them as their batting collapsed for the second time in the game and England bundled them out for 278, handing them a defeat by an innings and 76 runs.
However, speaking in the post-match press conference, Virat Kohli suggested that the loss doesn't guarantee anything as things can change cometh the Oval Test. He also added that this team relishes being in tough situations when everyone starts doubting them but that, in no way, would demoralise him and his men.
"If what happens in one game guarantees you the same thing the next game, we should have smashed England again [after the win at Lord's]. It didn't happen. We like to be in this situation where people start coming at us with doubts and start questioning our ability. That is the situation we love best. We will not be demoralised by this loss. The guys in the changing room are hurt. When you are hurt, you really want to correct the things that did not go our way. That is the way we will play the next two Tests," Kohli said.
India were on the back foot right from the first day after they got all-out for 78, one of their worst batting displays of recent times. India's middle-order mainstay admitted that the batting wasn't consistent enough but he refused to pinpoint the blame on any one individual.
"As a batting group, we failed in this game in the first innings," Kohli said. "Second innings we did a better job. As a bowling group also, we accept we are not consistent enough. That's it. I know what happens when we lose one game. I have said this in the past so many times that we are not going to fall into this trap where we start picking on issues or one or two things to talk about. We fail as a team, and we win as a team."
In the first three Tests of the ongoing series, India have gone with the 4:1 bowling combination that has seen Ravichandran Ashwin warming the bench. There have been a lot of suggestions from the cricket experts that the team should field six specialist batsmen but Kohli remarked that he doesn't believe in such balance.
"I don't believe in that balance. I have never believed in that balance. Because either you can try to save a defeat or try to win the game. We have drawn games in the past with similar number of batters in the team. So, if your top six or seven don't do the job, that extra batter is no guarantee of bailing you out every time. You have to accept that as a team you take responsibility and pride in doing the job for the team. If you don't have the ability or the resources of taking 20 wickets going into as Test, then you are only playing for two results. And that's not how we play."
The trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj has so far featured in all the Tests against England while Ishant Sharma has been part of the side in the last two games. With two Tests remaining in the series, the Indian talisman revealed that the rotation of bowlers is bound to happen in the upcoming games.
"That's bound to happen. It is a logical and sensible thing to do. You don't want to push individuals to a point where they break down. That conversation is very important. Very sensible and logical one at that as well.
"We will have that conversation with individuals and see who is placed where physically and who needs to have a game off. You can't expect with a short turnaround like this for guys to play four Tests in a row. So, we will have to assess who are the guys who will be given that many days to recover and be okay for the fourth one."