After being 0-2 down in the series, it is a must-win game for the Indian team as they aim to bounce back and make it all eve before the final Test at The Oval. Captain Virat Kohli addressed the media on the eve of the 3rd Test at Trent Bridge and spoke about the team’s mindset going into this game.
“The only thing that we have spoken about is to focus on what the team requires at all times in this Test match, and when your back is against the wall, it’s the time for you not to think of anything else,” he said.
“The only conversation we have had is that the only option is to win this game and nothing else, and you need to show that in your body language and in your intent, the way you prepare for the game, and the way you go about things. It’s all about you feeling positive first. That’s the conversation over the last few days.”
Talking about the team combination and changes, Virat said that it would be decided after inspecting the pitch and conditions on Saturday morning.
“It depends on what the surface is like. If there will be enough assistance for the bowlers then the extra batter might come into play, but if not, if the pitch is going to be quite even for batting and bowling, then obviously picking up 20 wickets is going to be the priority. The batsmen will still have to take responsibility and get the runs on the board,” he added.
“If you don’t take 20, as I’ve said in the past, you can score as many runs as you want. It’s not about saving one discipline; it’s about one discipline taking care of their job and the other discipline taking care of theirs. But both the possibilities are there; looking at how exciting or spicy the pitch will be."
When asked about the soreness in his back and whether he was match fit, he iterated, “ I’m feeling absolutely fine. It’s been an issue that’s been coming on and off again. I got it in 2011 first time and it happens with workload, the back is such a thing that you don’t know when it’s going to go.
“All you can do is strengthen the muscles around it and work on it. A bit of strengthening, ample rest, proper rehab gets me back into shape. I’ve had it a couple of times before so it’s not a new devil and I knew how to handle it.”
Emphasizing on the conditions and on the need to acclimatize, Virat added, “We have to accept that playing in these conditions, even if you're past a century, you're still not fully set. You could get an unplayable delivery at any point, which as a batsman you have to gracefully accept. But if you're scared, you will be unable to execute the process. The key is to accept the situation and move on quickly.
“But that doesn't mean that you surrender as soon as you get to the wicket. Because before you get a ball with your name on it, you should have the confidence to be able to score runs.
“Our plan is to get runs as a team, whether that comes from 10 batsmen scoring 30 or a lone batsman scoring 200, it doesn't matter. We have to achieve a team total and if you can contribute even 40-45 runs to that, you should be given credit. That will be the mindset with which we enter this match.
“That approach will ease the pressure of personal performance and you will end up respecting the conditions, you won't try things beyond your abilities. We can speak about a lot of things, but what matters is how we perform on the field.”