India captain Virat Kohli is confident that his side has the required skill set and mental toughness to succeed in the tough English conditions. Stating that the upcoming five-match Test series will be a competitive challenge for both the teams, Kohli maintained that he is not bogged down by his failures in the previous tour. Ahead of the first Test at Edgbaston, the India skipper reiterated that he is not in the “frame of mind to prove myself in any country”.
“Back in the day when I did not know better, these things used to bother me because I used to read a lot. But honestly – and I’m not saying this because I’m sitting here in front of all of you — I genuinely don’t read anything. I have no idea what’s going on,” Kohli said.
“After the first two Tests in South Africa, I had no idea what was going on. My only focus was on my preparation and where the team has to head. If I waste my energy on all these things, I’m compromising on my mindset already. Because when I walk out to bat, I have the bat in hand. Not people who sit on the outside who write and predict things,” PTI quoted him saying.
Reflecting on his previous tour where he could score just 134 runs in 10 Test innings the Indian captain said, “I need to be in the most convinced and the most clear mental space that I can be and that happens when I’m just focused on what I need to do. Very soon, I’m going to complete 10 years. I didn’t think 10 years ago that I’d be sitting here in my career.”
“So I have no complaints whatsoever and I’m not in the frame of mind to prove myself in any country. I just want to perform for the team, score runs for the team, and take Indian cricket forward and that’s my only motive,” Kohli stated.
When asked about the possible duel with veteran pacer Anderson, he replied, “It’s pretty simple. You focus on what you need to do as a batsman, the plans that you want to take into the middle, and you follow your instinct. You have to have total confidence and belief in your own ability. That’s something that gives you total clarity when you head out to bat.”
“I’m not saying that it happens every time. The fact that we’re able to do it again and again is the reason we’re playing at this level. That’s something we need to keep working hard on and not take for granted,” he added.
Elucidating the importance of having self-belief the Indian captain further added, “That’s basically what gives me clarity, which is to believe in my game and it boils down to belief. Even on a flat pitch in India, if you don’t have belief, you’ll get out, even if the ball is doing nothing. If you have belief you can score a big hundred on a green wicket as well.”
“It all boils down to what you think in your head. Over the last few years I’ve been more comfortable in my headspace and how I think about the game and my own game as well. I’ve worked hard on it. I’m pretty confident of my own ability and that’s the only thing I’m going to focus on,” he concluded.