Firstpost’s Vinayakk Mohanarangan and Manas Mitul preview the fourth Test between India and South Africa
New Delhi: India’s Test captain Virat Kohli today took a dig at the ICC, which rated the Nagpur track as “poor”, and wondered why nothing is written when teams get out for under 50-100 runs on South African pitches.
India won the series with a crushing 124-run win at Nagpur, a match that ended in two and half days, prompting ICC match referee Jeff Crowe to file a report terming the pitch as not suitable for international cricket. BCCI has been asked to reply within 14 days.
Kohli came down heavily on the media reports on pitches.
Indian Test captain Virat Kohli. AP
Indian Test captain Virat Kohli. AP
“Well, there have been three scores of under 50 runs (in an innings) in South Africa but I haven’t seen any sort of articles on that. Teams have been bundled out under 100 for about six times in South Africa. Never saw any articles written on that. See articles are there to be written. It’s a mindset or an opinion of someone. I don’t relate to it, I don’t understand it and I don’t entertain it. It doesn’t bother me or the team,” Kohli shot back on media reports.”People can write their opinion on as and how they wish. We are doing best what we are suppose to do,” he added.
But when the journalist in question reiterated that it’s an official ICC report, Kohli maintained his attacking stance.
“Yes, I am talking about anyone (including ICC). I am not only talking about people writing articles in general. It’s an assessment that happens in every condition and at every ground. Unfortunately, the situation in our country is highlighted a bit too much and that’s a fact. Because only thing we talk about is the pitch and when we were in South Africa, the only thing we talked about is how badly we played,” insisted Kohli.
“It’s been going on for a while. We are changing our mindset but people around us haven’t changed. We are criticised for our techniques but when visitors don’t play well, it’s always the wicket,” Kohli said, and the sarcasm was not lost on anyone.
Asked about the Kotla track, Kohli sounded livid.
“I don’t want to say much about the pitch as lot has been said about it. It’s better if we talk about the positives. Because when the team wins, you should get support from every corner. We always try to find points to criticise people, but we should give confidence to people. That’s why this is something which I don’t find logical, that everyone is commenting on the pitch,” he said.
The ‘Pink Ball’ Test in Adelaide also came up for mention as Kohli said, “I don’t think anyone has written an article about Adelaide Test which finished in two and half days. So I don’t see anything wrong in our pitches.”
Kohli also said that his team would be “ruthless” in the final Test making it clear that the team has not reached a phase where they can experiment with the playing eleven.
Now that the series is sealed, Kohli was asked if he is mulling a few changes in the playing eleven and he said it will be on conditions and not for the sake of experimentation.
“Changes depend on conditions not on winning or losing. Our mindset is to be ruthless and try to go 3-0 up. Our changes will depend on the conditions and not that we need to give someone a chance for the heck of it. Right now, we are in such a phase where the team we cannot experiment. When solidarity comes, we will think about it,” Kohli was straightforward in his reply.
The skipper did admit that he has made some errors while playing moving deliveries outside the off-stump.
Was it more of a good delivery or a mistake, Kohli said: “No it was a mistake. Not sitting here to make excuses. We get out playing flick shots, but we don’t stop playing that. We get out playing cover drives and we certainly don’t stop playing it. I certainly believe in that kind of mindset when I
go out there to bat.
“England (where he was getting dismissed to away going deliveries) was a phase where mentally I was not into it. That can happen to anyone. Right now, I am feeling very well about my game. It’s about churning out those few little areas you need to concentrate on.
“If I was not playing well, I would not be able to survive 15 balls, I am getting to 60-70 balls. Matter of oncentrating a bit harder. As I said, lot of people have things to say and opinions to make, it is important as to what I am feeling in my head,” Kohli explained.