‘We’re focussed on making it 2-1’: Virat Kohli
LONDON (92 News) – Following the Lord’s reversal, Virat Kohli has called on his players to accept their mistakes and learn from them before the third Test against England.
India were blown away for a crushing innings-and-159-run defeat on the fourth day at Lord’s on Sunday, 12 August. Kohli, who himself didn’t get going in either innings, readily accepted that India had simply not been up to the mark, and called on his men to get their act together before the third Test in Nottingham.
“People are saying that we batted in overcast conditions … if we dwell on those things, we’ll be unable to plan,” Kohli said after the match. “We can’t think about what could have happened in the game because we have to correct our mistakes. We have no option other than that.
“For a sportsman, it’s important that if we make mistakes we ensure they’re corrected, and as a team we’ll look to focus on that. The fact is we didn’t play good cricket in this match. Batting wasn’t good. As for bowling, we began well, but were unable to hit areas consistently. We could have done a lot better with both bat and ball.”
There were mistakes committed with bat and ball, Kohli accepted, and wanted his mates to do the same.
“We have to accept the mistakes, learn from them, put them aside, make sure we’re not thinking about the same mistakes again, rather get confident and not repeat those again,” he stressed. “We’re thinking of nothing else but to go 2-1 in the series, and from thereon build on that strongly. This is the first time in the last five Tests we’ve been really outplayed … we’ve competed in every game.
“We know that we do have the bowling attack to pick up 20 wickets and as batsmen we should think of that as an opportunity to score runs and make the team win games. What is sad is that we haven’t had those two skills come together.”
India’s batsmen looked completely out of sorts against an England attack that revelled in classic home conditions, bowled out for 107 and 130 in the two innings respectively. Kohli called on the batsmen to tackle the challenges head on.
“When you’re out there in a situation that is tough, you have to find ways to counter the situation, which I think we’ve failed to do as batsmen, myself included, in this game. We haven’t been able to have partnerships in this game, which is the basic rule of batting.
“Only 50 (partnership) with Hardik (Pandya) and Ash (Ravichandran Ashwin), nothing of any substance before or after that. That’s what we need to work on, to build partnerships and put the team in a strong position.”
Apart from India’s poor show with the bat, there is another big concern for India: Kohli’s fitness status. The Indian captain took a significant amount of time off the field when England were batting and seemed to be in discomfort when he batted. However, Kohli feels he will recover in time to lead his team at Trent Bridge.
“As of yesterday and today, it wasn’t great. Back is one thing that can be really tricky. It happened during the last leg of the South Africa tour when I missed a T20 game,” he said. “The good thing is I have five days before the next Test.
“We’re confident, with rehab and strengthening, I should be ready for the next game although not with the same intensity on the field, but I should be able to hold a position in the field and be 100 per cent with the bat. I think five days is good enough to be better for the next game.”
India will hope desperately that Kohli doesn’t have to sit out the next Test, especially considering he’s been their best man with the bat.