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The moment I make a mistake, I will be treated as a child again, says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli on how they learnt to finish games, why an angry Ishant Sharma is a boon and how he is dealing with a problem of plenty.

By: Express News Service | Colombo | Updated: September 2, 2015 3:14:18 pm
Virat Kohli, Virat Kohli Ishant Sharma, Ishant Sharma Virat Kohli Dhammika Prasad, Virat Kohli India captain, Cricket News, Cricket Virat Kohli said that so fired up was Ishant that he bowled for 19 overs without conceding a single boundary. (Source: Reuters)

After leading India to its first series win in Sri Lanka in 22 years, Virat Kohli reflected on the assignment. He spoke about how the team has learnt to finish games, why an angry Ishant Sharma is a boon and how he is dealing with a problem of plenty. Excerpts

On team’s philosophy

“Drawing a Test match has to be the last option for our group. They have responded beautifully, and there is nothing better than winning. I think this might be the right kind of boost that we require and they would want to beat other teams as well. Winning is always really, really encouraging for the squad. Especially, the way we have won this series should be the right kind of catalyst for us to play the same brand of cricket wherever we play in the future.”

On MoM Pujara

“Cheteshwar’s knock was world class. One of the best I have seen. Apart form that, the bowlers have really stood out.”

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On what ticked

“I can’t really pinpoint what has changed but the one difference I have seen is we have capitalised on the important moments in the game. And that is something we spoke as a team before the series.”

On the bowling

“As I said, to win a Test match you need to take 20 wickets. The way they have bowled in partnerships in this series has been something that has stood out for me. As a captain making changes and bowling in partnerships has been very, very pleasing because it makes your job very easy. I think this series belongs to the bowlers because they have been outstanding.”

On the problem of plenty

“I am glad we have some time off before we play Test matches again (versus South Africa in November) because if you are playing a Test match again in 10 days’ time. I wouldn’t be able to select a team because everyone has scored runs, everyone has taken wickets, so who will you drop? But yeah, problem of plenty is never bad. Guys in this group will understand and respect the decisions made by the management.”

On his captaincy

“I don’t want to say that I have grown as a captain as the moment I make a mistake, I will be treated as a child again.

“In Test cricket, an hour of bad cricket or bad execution can turn the whole game around. So I think we have done well to maintain our composure, do well in those moments and that is why we have been able to win two Test matches after being 1-0 down.”

On finishing matches

“That is something we have addressed, and it only shows the hunger of the guys in improving as cricketers in actually wanting to close games of cricket rather than hesitating at times. We have gone through a learning curve. In the last two years, a lot of people have gone from two Tests to 15-16 matches and that has been a learning, as to how they are able to react in a certain situation. That has changed over a period of time, and that only comes with experience.

“The guys are willing to work harder than they might have in the past, they have been willing to put in that extra effort. The guys have really understood and accepted that sometimes you have to show that discipline and not concede too many runs so the pressure can be created. This series has been a revelation with this bowling attack and the guys have understood and learnt from this experience.”

On backing players

“It is very important to back individuals and get the best out of them because you will never know until you give them the chance to express themselves, how good they are, how good they are in pressure situations, or can they win a game for you in particular situations or from particular situations. From my end I made all the effort to make them feel comfortable, allowing them to go out there and express themselves in any sort of situation to benefit the team.”

On Ishant Sharma

“I was very happy with the incident (argument with Prasad) when he was batting. It happened at the right time for us because we had to bowl yesterday and they made him angry It could not have happened at a better time for us. And the way he (Ishant) bowled in the second innings, he didn’t concede a boundary for 19 overs. That’s the kind of pressure he created on those batsmen because of one incident. He bowled his heart out like he has always done when the Indian team has needed to defend scores in Test matches. An angry fast bowler is a captain’s delight. I was really happy to see what happened yesterday and it switched some things on in the right ways. It had to be controlled but in the end it benefitted us.”

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