Indian skipper Virat Kohli has asserted that for him records mean nothing and it's the camaraderie between him and MS Dhoni that's more important to him than the milestones. He also added that it's uncommon to see pacers playing as many Tests as Ishant Sharma has played so far in his career.
Virat Kohli is set to surpass Mahendra Singh Dhoni in terms of winning the most number of Tests at home. Right now, under the able leadership of Virat Kohli, India have won 21 out of 28 Tests at home, losing merely two Tests since he has overtaken the captaincy from MS Dhoni. Under Dhoni, the Indian team had won 21 Tests albeit in 30 games with three losses. Kohli has a W/L of 10.5 as compared to Dhoni's 7.
Not only from Kohli's captaincy point of view but the third Test will be crucial to India's qualification chances for the World Test Championship too as a loss here would mean they will be out of the contention and also would be able to draw the ongoing series at most. Ahead of a crucial encounter, Virat Kohli made it clear that for him records mean nothing and all that he wants to do is to be at his best when he steps out on the field.
"Records as a captain mean nothing, to me or any other player. It is a responsibility given to me and I'm trying to do my best. This has always been the case, and will remain the same, as long as I play the game. These are fickle things which look great from outside, doesn't matter to me as an individual," Kohli said at the pre-match conference, reported India Today.
He also explained that he shares a great relationship of respect and love with MS Dhoni and for him that matters more than any landmark.
"We (MS Dhoni) share great camaraderie, and mutual respect is something you hold very dear to your heart. It is always more important than these milestones. I have a responsibility to keep Team India on top, and same applies to someone who takes over after me."
"You don't play for those reasons. We are looking to win both games, and not win this one and draw next. There is no point running too far ahead into the future. Let other people think about the what ifs."
The Test will also be a special one for the lanky Indian pacer Ishant Sharma as it will be his 100th Test. Virat Kohli has seen Ishant's journey from close quarters as he was part of the Delhi side alongside him. He praised Ishant for his longevity, which the Indian skipper finds rare amongst pacers, in particular.
"It's rare to see a pacer have such longevity these days. Ishant could've easily prioritised white-ball cricket but full credit to him that he didn't. I'm so happy that he is playing his 100th Test and hope he plays for India for many more years,” Virat Kohli said in the presser, reported Cricket Next.
The 32-year-old also revealed that he shares a very good bond with the senior pacer and expressed his happiness at seeing his amazing journey over the years.
“Ishant started playing state cricket with me. When he got selected for India, he was sleeping & I had to kick him to give him the news. That's how far we go. We have great trust between us. I've been very happy to see him enjoy his bowling over the years,” Kohli added.