VIRAT KOHLI wants to be the Grinch that steals England’s Christmas. At least for now, he’s not overly chuffed about Alastair Cook & Co returning home for a 25-day gap during Christmas before returning for the limited-overs leg of their tour.
Or let’s say he wants the Indian team too to get a similar break the next time they tour England. The Indian captain also didn’t seem too pleased with the eight days between the third and fourth Tests that allowed the English players to get over the two defeats with some even making a trip to Dubai.
“We didn’t ask for the gap, it was part of the schedule. Make sure when we go there, we also have eight days’ gap after three Tests and a 25-day gap between ODIs and Tests,” he said. He did, however, admit that the break had also let his own team recuperate to an extent.
“We didn’t ask for it, but seeing the long season ahead, it did us no harm. It actually helped us rest a bit, reflect on what we have done in the two games that we have won, and visualise again and come back even more fresh compared to the last two Test matches,” he added.
India spent most of 2016 on the road, starting with four months in Australia and 72 days in England. The five-Test series in England was followed by a 10-day gap before the ODIs commenced but the Indian team didn’t return home like has been the practice with English players over the last few tours that they’ve made to India. And it wasn’t just the scheduling, or the discrepancies in it, that Kohli seemed to have a problem with.
“Absolutely,” he said when asked whether England should not go home for the break. “Or we should come back for a month as well from England. No point we play there for three-and-a-half months and everything we do is in the media’s eyes, even our off time is scanned. I don’t have any news of them enjoying their holiday in Dubai at all. I would like to see the same thing happen. Either they stay the whole tour or we come back for 25 days as well.”
But he did admit once more that the break wasn’t all-bad as it allowed both him and his players to take their minds away from cricket.
“Honestly, between series, you can’t completely switch off because it will always be there on your mind as to what you have to do in a match. As a captain, you will keep thinking about the combinations you can play. But not too much also. It’s important that you enjoy life beyond your profession,” he said.
The press conference concluded with Kohli being asked whether India’s momentum in the series would get affected by the eight-day gap, and the response was an emphatic, “No.”