Winning is “contagious” and Indian Test captain Virat Kohli feels that it is a “good habit” that his boys can create in order to become a formidable Test team anywhere in the world.
India trounced West Indies by an innings and 92 runs well inside four days in the first cricket Test of the four-match series.
“We want to create winning habits, good habits. And you know, winning is contagious. If we learn to win Test matches, then we’ll learn how to win Tests everywhere. We will learn how to play in different situations and we will know exactly what to do when a certain situation is going a certain way,” Kohli told mediapersons after a thumping victory against the hosts.
“We want to be consistent side, we need to set ourselves goals and look to execute that rather than looking at the opposition which I think this team is willing to do,” said Kohli after the win.
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“That for me is a very pleasing thing as a captain and for the team as well. Everyone understands the way we want to play on the field – where we need to bat, how we need to bowl, etc. We need to be comfortable with what the team requires and I think that’s the most important for this team going forward.”
It was an all-round effort from the bowlers with pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav snaring eight scalps among themselves in the first innings and premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin with his 7 for 83 singlehandedly decimating the opposition in the second innings.
“It was a very good effort from the bowlers. The good thing was that we did not bowl that much in the first innings, so everyone’s mindset in the second innings was, yes, we can bowl again. I think the first innings ended at a perfect time for us last evening, and then we got 13-14 overs and got a wicket again.
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“So it was good to get some rest in the evening, and the bowlers’ attitude was very good, all of them voluntarily said, yes, we will bowl, and the spinners took the responsibility,” said the skipper.
What Kohli liked was the extra load that spinners took in the second innings knowing that Umesh and Shami has bowled bulk of overs in the first essay.
“They knew the fast bowlers had done a lot of bowling in the first innings, so we will have to take that responsibility. Ashwin obviously bowled very well, and Mishra also bowled very well but didn’t get (many) wickets.
“But both kept the pressure on, and we talk about partnership bowling – that was a classic example, that the spinners didn’t have to bowl that much in the first innings, but took the responsibility from the fast bowlers in the second innings, and did the job fully,” he added.
“All in all, as a bowling unit, it was good execution, and the bowlers will be quite pleased with their performance, and as a captain I am pleased too,” he added. It was a winning start for new coach Anil Kumble in his current one-year team as the Indian coach. Kohli expressed his happiness with the start of this new chapter with Kumble as the guide and mentor of this side.
“Having played for so long I think he (Kumble) understands how the players feel about a victory. He congratulated everyone and gave special mention to the guys who made important contributions in the game.
“It might not be seen too much but those important breakthroughs and moments are very crucial for the team to win. He understands that very nicely and he was obviously very happy with the victory. It’s a great start for him – first game as coach and we end up winning by an innings. We are very happy all round,” said Kohli.
Last but not the least, the Indian skipper was quick to attribute to the manner in which the team prepared for the tour having come here two weeks before the first Test, getting ample time to train and acclimatise.
“The preparation we had, coming here, understanding the conditions, adjusting – the time difference was a big factor at the start – conditions were very humid, they were hot, and it helped us to get that time to practise. We got two weeks here, which helped us a lot.
“Everyone knew what we needed to do in the match, and we executed them as well, so you get good feedback from the management as a result, you feel good about your performance. You can’t ask for anything better. You bat just once, and you
bowl the opposition out twice.
“First the fast bowlers take wickets, then the spinners also take wickets, the catching was also good. It was a good Test match for us, and going forward in the series, we will want to keep playing this kind of cricket,” said the skipper.
“And if we have a chance to win 4-0, then why not. We don’t need to complacent. If we end up getting a 2-0 lead, it’s not that we are playing for a draw in the next two Tests,” Kohli signed off.
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