The one-off match against Bangladesh will be Virat Kohli’s first as full-time Test captain and the excited star batsman says he is ready to roll out his vision for Indian cricket.
“It is pretty special. I never thought at 26 I will be captain of India Test side. My only dream as a child was to play Test cricket for India. Over the years I have matured in my mind. The people around me in BCCI and my teammates thought that I was the right guy for the job. I am pretty grateful for that,” Kohli said in the pre-match press conference.
“I have some vision in my mind which I have discussed with the team. We are all on the same page. It is pretty exciting for me to start as full-time Test captain and hopefully it is a positive start,” he added.
Talking about the playing eleven for the match, Kohli gave enough hint that he will go with five bowlers and six batsmen.
“I certainly believe in giving the team a chance to pick up 20 wickets. I am a big fan of playing five bowlers in a 6-5 combination. You only need two to three batsmen to click to get a score of 500,” he said.
The Indian team arrived in Dhaka on Monday and hours later they were seen practising at the Shere-Bangla Stadium.
Asked about the team getting enough preparation time for the five-day affair, Kohli said: “We only have one Test match so we can afford to push ourselves to the limit. Had it been a three or four-Test series so there would be need to contain our energy.
“Right now the priority is to get into game intensity. We are training hard so that guys get into the mindset of the game. You need to build that momentum in practice and they (the players) need to be ready to deliver from ball one. Today practice session is going to be a light one but we have pushed ourselves in the last few days,” he said.
He asserted his team did not need to pay much attention to how the pitch would play out.
“Wickets in Bangladesh are similar everywhere. There is no change of soil. Most of the guys have played here last year. We will pretty much know the wicket will play. You don’t really need to practice again and again in places where you have played a lot of cricket. Bangladesh is a place where we have played a lot of cricket. It is not going to make that much of a difference in terms of preparations,” added Kohli.
Bangladesh has been a happy hunting ground for Kohli, who has scored five of his 22 ODI hundreds in the neighbouring nation.
“I have some special knocks in Bangladesh. Batting conditions are good here. You need to cash it as a batsman. I think that is why I have made runs here. The role is different now than before. Now our mindset is to win the game without seeing the personal performances. I want to contribute to the team. But my priority is to take the team towards a win,” said Kohli.
He is also happy for wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, who had to warm the benches for long with Dhoni leading the team in the longest format.
“I am very happy for Wriddhiman Saha. He has waited for a long, long time understandably because MS has been the best wicketkeeper-batsman in a long time. So I think now is the time for Saha.
“He is a super fit guy. His keeping skills and reach are unbelievable. He is a gutsy batsman, confident, technique very good. He has everything to become a very good Test player for India. For next 5-6 years I can assure you will be exciting time for him,” said Kohli showering praise on the gloveman.
Kohli is considered a dangerous batsman by most teams around the world but captaincy can make him even more lethal, something opposition captain Mushfiqur Rahim fears. Asked about Mushfiqur’s comments, Kohli did not have much to say.
“I have enough pressure of my own to deal with. I don’t take pressure from what someone has to say about me. My pressure doesn’t come from some external source. It is a natural nervous feeling for every cricketer. I think I become more responsible as a batsman when I am leading. I believe in doing something first before asking anyone to be able to do that.
“If I am not batting in a matured way, I can’t say something with authority to the other members of the team. If I am doing something then it will give a positive feeling to the whole unit,” he concluded.