MUMBAI: India skipper Virat Kohli rarely let goes of an opportunity to get under the skin of the opposition. He was at it again on the eve of the fourth Test, raking up the issue of breaks allowed to England players during the ongoing series.
There was an eight-day gap between the third and fourth Tests, which the England players used to unwind with most of them flying to Dubai for a short holiday with family or girlfriends. There’s also a 25-day break between the Test series and the one-day series, allowing the England players to spend Christmas and New Year at home. The fifth Test ends on December 20 and the first ODI is on January 15.
“We didn’t ask for the gap, it was part of the schedule. (We should) make sure when we go there we also have eight days’ gap after the three Tests and 25-day gap between ODIs and Tests,” said Kohli, while admitting his team too benefitted from the rest.
“We should (also) come back for a month as well from England (when they play there next). No point we play there for three-and-a-half months and everything we do is in the media’s eyes, even our off time is scanned. I don’t have any news of them enjoying their holiday in Dubai at all. I would like to see the same thing happen, either they stay the whole tour or we come back for 25 days as well,” Kohli complained.
In a dominant performance by India, the only concern has been the number of injuries. It has affected the team’s combination. In the first three games, India couldn’t have their first-choice openers and for the Wankhede Test they have lost Ajinkya Rahane and there’s doubt over Mohammed Shami.
“They (injuries) never feel nice but the forced changes have come off really well and that is something we are proud of. The guys have brought into it and made the job easier for me as well,” he said.
“If you see, whoever has stepped in has given match-winning performances. You speak about Bhuvi, he has come in at St Lucia (third Test in the West Indies) once and in Kolkata (second Test versus New Zealand) once. On both times he has picked up five wickets and has been the match-winner for us. I am not worried because the guys sitting outside are waiting for opportunities, which is a great sign for the team. That is why whoever has played at any stage has given those performances for us.”