India skipper Virat Kohli didn’t ease up on the mind games after winning the second Test, saying he had expected England to show more intent on the fifth day. “We understand they have quality players who have played a lot of cricket. Their captain has over 100 Tests, so have another couple players. You expect them to show that resilience and character and fight,” said Kohli. (SCORECARD)
“Not giving away more than 1.5 runs per over, we thought they would come out with more intent, to be honest. And to see the approach they had obviously gave us assurance that once we get a couple of wickets, it will crumble pretty quickly because there wasn’t much intent from the batsmen.” he said. (HIGHLIGHTS)
What promised to spice up the remaining three Tests was England skipper Alastair Cook’s comment. “They are good bowlers in these conditions. In Rajkot we got over 700 runs. Here we made them really work hard in the last innings.
“They are not Supermen by any stretch of imagination. They are a fine bowling attack, but we showed in one game we can score runs against them, with four of us notching hundreds. This game too in the last innings we made them work really hard for wickets.”
After a defiant 302-ball vigil by the openers, England folded for 158 runs. Cook said Kohli’s knocks of 167 and 81 made the difference. “If you took Virat’s runs out of the game -- I know you can’t do that -- but we have put their batters under a lot of pressure.”
Half of Kohli’s 14 centuries have come as captain, aggregating 1793 runs in 19 Tests at nearly 60. Asked how he stays detached from the cares of captaincy, Kohli said: “It’s a difficult thing…, especially when you are playing five batters. But it also makes me not hit the ball in the air, which I probably prefer in Test cricket. I feel the more you stay at the wicket, things start getting easier. Spending time is something I aim for in Tests.”
Statistics testify to Kohli’s guarded approach, having hit three sixes to 201 fours since becoming captain. Kohli said he doesn’t have to think as much when he is MS Dhoni’s deputy. “In other formats, it’s relatively easy on the mind to prepare, because you are only thinking about batting. Obviously you have to give inputs on the field, but it’s not necessary that you have to take those decisions,” he said. “To keep a check on each and every thing and then to concentrate on your batting, it does take a toll on you, but right now I am pretty fine. Maybe in three-four years, I can analyse how much load I am feeling but at the moment, it’s coming along nicely.”