India vs New Zealand: ‘Never used to speak of these things before’ - Virat Kohli wants more clarity from players
For Virat Kohli, the biggest talking point after the series loss was the fact that his players spent a lot of time focusing on things like conditions on offer and he believes that this had an impact on the mindset of the side in the Test match. When asked to identify the biggest mistake made by his side, Kohli said: “Having clarity, as batsmen,” he said. “We have performed in difficult conditions in the past as well, and we understand that we were in a good frame of mind when we were playing in those conditions at that period. I think it’s about trying to get into that space more often than not. And for that, you need to think positively on every day of the Test match, every situation, every session that you are a part of.
“[It’s] something we failed to do as a batting unit, and I truly believe that we made too much of the conditions from the first day onwards of the first Test: overcast, a bit of dampness on the pitch. We never used to speak of these things before. So yeah, it can creep in every now and then, it’s about not letting it grow, not letting it become a norm, something that we as a side have not done at all. We don’t go into conditions and think that we might not be able to execute what we want to. We’ve always gone in with a very positive outlook, and your skill follows how you think.
“If you’re not clear in your head, then the feet don’t move. You’re not quite sure whether to play the shot or not, leave the ball or play the ball. I think these sorts of things can creep in, and which have crept in in this series. It’s something we have recognised already. The good thing is that everyone’s understood what’s happened and is very keen to improve it. It’s all mental. I don’t see any problem with anyone’s game as such. It’s mental, and it’s something that can happen at this level and we just need to accept it and iron it out and move ahead.”
Kohli places a lot of importance on thinking clearly and not getting drawn into complaining about factors which cannot be controlled.
“So I think the outlook as far as I am concerned, and as far as I saw things happening, was not ideal for us in this series. We were not positive enough, we were not brave enough in moments, which we have done in the past. In the crunch moments [previously], we have just gone for it; even though we have lost, still we compete. Those are things for me that need to be ironed out. Skills follow your mindset, simple as that. You can bat as well as you want, but as long as you don’t think right, then you are not going to be able to do what you want to do. More about ironing those things out mentally and going ahead positively and taking challenges head on.”