India captain Virat Kohli said that the philosophy of the current team is that when someone like a Murali Vijay or Ajinkya Rahane go through a rough patch, the others taken it upon themselves to compensate for their mates.
Both Vijay (192 runs from 6 innings) and Rahane (63 from 5 innings) have struggled a lot during the current series but just like coach Anil Kumble, the Test skipper also made it clear that he is going to back his players firmly.
“Ajinkya and Vijay are both solid payers. Vijay got a hundred in the first innings of the series (at Rajkot). (When) I did not have any scores to be proud of during the New Zealand series, Ajinkya was stepping in. It’s all about covering for another guy, who is probably not getting runs and that’s what team sport is all about,” Kohli made it clear about what he thought on team ethos.
“We don’t believe in picking out individuals that this one is not playing well and this one is playing extraordinarily well. We compensate for someone who does not get runs and that is how we go ahead and pick up your teammates. Tha has been our aim,” he added.
Kohli complimented the lower-order batsmen for contributing to the Indian totals in this series.
“Lower-order contributions obviously help big time,” he said.
Kohli was also excited about newcomer Jayant Yadav who has not only bowled his off-spinners well, but has also chipped in with the bat lower down the order.
“I have been very impressed (with Jayant Yadav) who, as you said, is only two games old. You can call him an all-rounder now. I haven’t had to tell him anything. He sets his own field, he knows exactly where he wants to bowl.
“Sometimes I ask mid-on to be back, he urges me to keep it up, he wants the batsmen to go after him. So he is pretty confident of his skill, it is very evident and it can come only with professionalism.
“Jayant practices his skills very well, he is fit, he understands his game, he is an intelligent guy, so great package for Team India. In years to come, you will see a lot more match winning performances from him, because he has got all the skills needed to be a very good Test player,” said Kohli.
India take on England in the fourth Test from Thursday in the five match series, which the hosts lead 2-0. They registered victories in Visakhapatnam and Mohali respectively, while the first Test at Rajkot was a draw.
Asked if is he going back with Vijay and Rahul as openers, Kohli said,”Yes. They are specialist openers, so there is no question of them not opening. They are not guys who have batted in different positions and they have opened for their states and country as well, they will be our specialist openers.”
Asked that India’s playing XI changing constantly since West Indies series, the right-handed batsman said,”It has been a mixed bag of people getting injured and at the same time we playing guys who we feel are suitable to play on that particular wicket, specially the bowlers, I think the batting order has not changed much.”
“So it is something that we decided as a squad that we will look to do, because the priority is to win games. We have continued with the same squad, we haven’t made too many changes because it is important for the guys to feel that they are part of a bigger plan which is to be a good Test side for a long period of time and for that you need to back the guys, and keep them in the squad and practice with the whole team.”
Asked the Australia tour and how much did that influence your approach to handling attack, he said,”It certainly helps when guys have identified their faults in the past and they are willing to work on it. I think one area that they have worked really hard on is there consistency bit and understanding that you don’t necessarily have to come at the
batsmen all the time.
“It’s important to have patience in a particular session and for that you need to get fitter, you need to get fitter to bowling those disciplined lines, those fourth-fifth stump lines… Because you might bowl those four-overs and feel it’s a waste of my energy, that I need to utilise my energy to pick up wickets.”
Asked if he is worried that the fast bowlers are breaking down frequently, Kohli said, “Not really, because if you see whoever has stepped in has given match winning performances. You speak about Bhuvi, he has come in at St Lucia once and in Kolkata once, and both times he has picked up five wickets and he has been the match winner for us. I am not worried because the guys sitting outside are waiting for opportunities.
“It is not like that they are not looking forward to playing, which is I think a great sign for the team and that is why whoever has played at any stage has given those performances for us. As I said they are pretty keen to step on to the field the grab the opportunity with both hands,” concluded Kohli.