Mumbai : Each Test match and series win is a landmark in itself but it leaves no room for personal milestones. Indian Test captain Virat Kohli made this amply clear after India had beaten England by an innings and 36 runs in the fourth Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday to claim an unassailable 3-0 lead. While his score of 235, the best by any Indian batsman against England, was the backbone of India’s win, the skipper was clear that the time for individual records is over.
“One thing that I really wanted the team to do was express themselves in Test matches and not think about personal performances,” Kohli after the match.
“Because a lot of the times, you have an hour in the Test match where you can take the game away and you are still not willing to go for it because you are close to your milestone or things like that. These are the things that we have gotten out of our system completely. We just look at the situation and play and that is why we have been in winning positions more often than not,” he explained.
Kohli described this win as the best so far under his leadership.
‘Didn’t get anything on a platter’
“Out of the five series that we’ve won, this is the best by far, because of the quality of the opposition, and the kind of cricket that we’ve played. We’re very proud of that, and for me as a captain, this is definitely on top,” he said.
He however said triumph did not come on a platter.
“I don’t think it’s been easy. We have been put under pressure many times. I think I would give my team a lot of credit for bouncing back from those tough situations. We haven’t got anything on the platter. We have had to work hard for it. And it’s been a result of constant pressure that we have forced the opposition to make mistakes.”
Apart from Kohli’s 235 and Ravichandran Ashwin’s match haul of 12 wickets, contributions came from the entire team, with Murali Vijay and Jayant Yadav also chipping in with hundreds while Ravindra Jadeja was as effective as always with his left-arm spin
The changes in the side were not aimed at individual matches, but with an eye on winning series, Kohli added.
“Even with the teams that we have played, we have made quite a few changes and the guys have bought into it. So, as a captain, that gives you total freedom to play the 11 according to the conditions that you are going to play in, and the ultimate aim has been to win games and win series. Not only one Test match, but to win series. That is why we have won five in a row,” he said.
“And as I said, it is been an outstanding effort by the guys so far and long it may continue because we are going to play for another 8-10 years and this mindset needs to continue for us to be a top-quality consistent side,” he added.
The win was applauded by people from all walks of life, including luminaries like Lata Mangeshkar.
Kohli’s indication that this will continue for a long time to come also give enough signs that the Indian captain is gunning towards making his side the best in the world. While that will need some more.