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It's a magnificent milestone for a young team, we have created a bit of history: Virat Kohli

Published Sep 2, 2015, 1:23 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 11:55 pm IST
‘An angry fast bowler is a captain's delight, was really happy to see what happened with Ishant’
India's next Test series is at home against South Africa in November, which is two months from now. Skipper Virat Kohli was relieved that they are not playing the longer format immediately as then selecting a first XI with so many performers would
 India's next Test series is at home against South Africa in November, which is two months from now. Skipper Virat Kohli was relieved that they are not playing the longer format immediately as then selecting a first XI with so many performers would

Colombo: India captain Virat Kohli does not mind if anger or aggression is channelised in the right direction which is what happened with a fiery Ishant Sharma after his altercation with Dhammika Prasad.


(Photo: AFP)

Ishant had an argument with the Sri Lankan pacer and his teammate Dinesh Chandimal after Prasad bowled a barrage of short-pitched deliveries and the Delhi speedster returned the favour with a hostile spell at the end of the fourth day to get rid of Upul Tharanga and Chandimal.

"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 (Monday) and they made him angry. It could not have happened at a better time for us," Kohli tried to look at the positive side of the incident.


(Photo: AP)

The skipper said that so fired up was Ishant that he bowled for 19 overs without conceding a single boundary. "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 benefited us," said Kohli.


(Photo: AFP)

Asked how he has grown as a captain with this series, a smiling Kohli replied, "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."

Kohli said that patience is key to success in Test cricket as one mistake can turn the game around. "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," he said.


The skipper maintained that they have addressed the issue of closing in matches, within the group. "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 phase 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," he added.


Kohli said there was no substitute to hard work and that would be the mantra of this team. "They 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,” Kohli pointed out.

"This series has been a revelation with this bowling attack and the guys have understood and learnt from this experience," he added.

As a skipper, he believes in backing his individuals so that they can "express themselves" freely. "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.”


"If you see the second innings they changed the whole game around for us and we got 112 runs in a session where it was supposed to be helping the bowlers. 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," said Kohli.

"We maintain that drawing a Test match has to be the last option for our group of guys right now. They have responded beautifully and there is nothing better than winning" Kohli said at the post-match press conference here.


"I think this might be the right kind of boost that we require and they would want to beat other teams as well. This is the right kind of push that this team needed," Kohli said after India beat Sri Lanka by 117 runs in the third and final Test to clinch a 2-1 scoreline.

"I think 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," the skipper said.

(Photo: AP)

Cheteshwar Pujara's classy 145 laid the foundation for the series win and the skipper was first one to acknowledge that. "Cheteshwar's knock was world class. One of the best I have seen in Test cricket. Apart from that, the bowlers have really stood out in this series," said the young skipper.


With India failing to close in on a lot of matches, Kohli was asked as to what changed for this current unit. "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," said Kohli.

"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," he pointed out.


India's next Test series is at home against South Africa in November, which is two months from now. Kohli was relieved that they are not playing the longer format immediately as then selecting a first XI with so many performers would have been difficult.

"I am glad we have some time off before we play Test matches again 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 yes, problem of plenty is never bad. Guys in this group will understand and respect the decisions made by the management," he added about selection dilemmas.


Read: India vs SA series to be known as 'Gandhi-Mandela' Series

A delighted Indian Test captain Kohli termed his team's 2-1 series win as a "magnificent milestone" as they now became a "part of history". "It's a magnificent milestone for a young team winning here after 22 years. I am told that no Indian team has won a Test series coming back from being 0-1 down. So we have created a bit of history," a satisfied Kohli said.

Kohli termed the brilliant dressing room environment being one of the primary reasons for this success. "Even players like Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and Varun Aaron who did not play the last two Test matches were helping us out. Harbhajan Singh, who is such a senior player was also helping from outside. It was a collective effort. Everyone was raring to go and it's a victory on which our Test careers will be built," the skipper said.