Each time Team India Captain Virat Kohli was on the hot seat in front of the media ahead of the England tour, every question was hinted at his not-so-great outing in English soil in 2014. The skipper insisted that his team was focused on the present and the future, rather than the past.
Ahead of the first Test against England at Edgbaston, Virat was prompted of the 2014 tour and once again the captain reiterated that the cricket is a team sport and his only motive was to score runs and take Indian cricket forward.
On Day 2 of the first Test at Edgbaston, there was an innings of 149 that will be reminisced for the longest time. Yes, it was none other than the ‘Run Machine’ who stood tall and batted selflessly to take the Indian score close to England’s first innings total of 287.
On a canvas where India’s top order crumbled before lunch, Virat batted with grit and gumption. With the tail-enders, he stitched vital partnerships, produced an absolute batting master-class and announced his arrival in the Test series.
We at BCCI.TV, in an exclusive chat, caught up with the Indian skipper and found out more about his incredible knock.
They said it was your final frontier. But you just smiled and let the bat do the talking.
I’ve mentioned these things in the pressers that I don’t see or read what people write about me. People think that I’m lying, but I genuinely have no idea what people are saying. I try to prepare the best way possible that I can and help my team as much as possible. It wasn’t only about getting to the three-figure mark, but also to capitalize on the hundred. I was very disappointed when I got out because I thought we could’ve taken a 10-15 run lead. But, in hindsight, we wouldn’t have been able to bowl then. So, I’d just accept what God’s bestowed upon me and I was very happy with my preparation and not worried about the world.
You shielded the tail-enders and managed to stitch crucial partnerships with them.
It was difficult, but I told myself that it was important to enjoy this moment and consider a challenge to take the team far and the innings deep. It was a test of physical and mental strength and I’m glad that we could come close to their total and we’re pretty much in the game. When you help the team that way, it obviously feels great. I have to laud the tail as well. Hardik batted really well after we were five wickets down. Then, the way Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav applied themselves, I think it was an outstanding effort from them and I have to give a lot of credit to them for getting us this close. They stuck in there, supported me really well and I’m very proud of both of them and happy with the effort.
Where do you rate this knock of yours?
I’m not too sure, but this could come in second to Adelaide. It (Adelaide) still remains very special to me, because it was the second innings and we were chasing a target, wherein I had total clarity that we are going for the target. Not once did I think otherwise. That was a beautiful zone to be in, but today I’m very happy and grateful for having this opportunity to help the team this way and pull us back in the Test and compete. That’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to compete. We’re here to fight and we will continue doing that.