DUE A BIG ONE: Virat Kohli bats in the nets in Ahmedabad. (BCCI Twitter Photo)
doesn’t see the
loss – the forgettable 36 all out – as a scar that’ll show on
forever. Instead, he sees that game more as an experience that’ll remain with the team for a long time to come, reminding them every now and then about the uncertainties of
Gearing up for their third
Test, and the first one after the loss in Adelaide, India have shelved that memory into a far corner. On Wednesday afternoon, it’ll be a fresh start against a team that was once left equally bruised in this format three years ago.
“If you ask England the same question, that ‘do you think you could be bowled out for 50 (58) again’, their answer will be no. Because you understand that on a particular day, things are meant to happen a certain way and whatever you try and do, nothing may go right. That’s exactly what happened to us in Adelaide,” he said. Barring those 45 minutes of absolute madness, the Indian team is convinced they dominated the Adelaide Test and it’s that confidence they’re waiting to carry over at Motera this week.
“These are experiences. Not a mental scar. Not a hindrance. Something you learn from and move ahead,” he stressed.
India cannot afford to lose this Test if they want to make it to the World Test Championship final later this year. But that’s not how
sees it. He says India doesn’t just have to win this Test for the sake of making it to the final. They’ve got to win because that’s the thing to do.
“You don’t really play for those kind of reasons, like qualification criteria, etc. That’s a conversation for later. In the present moment, we’re preparing for this game, waiting for the grind over the next five days, looking to win a Test match for India and then move on to the next one,” says the skipper.
Pink ball swings a lot more
On the eve of the Test, Kohli spoke about the pink ball’s tendency to swing a lot more than the red one. It’s an experience that’s stayed with Team India since the match against Bangladesh at
“It is much more challenging to play the new pink ball regardless of the pitch you are playing on. Especially in the evening, say, as a batting team you are starting your innings in the evening under lights, then that one-and-a-half hour period is very challenging. Yes, spin will come in for sure, but I don’t think the new ball and the fast bowlers can be ignored. The pink ball does bring them into the game till the ball is nice and shiny. That is something we are very well aware of, and we are preparing accordingly,” Kohli said, giving an indication that India might pack in an extra seamer for the game.
The first session, in the skipper’s opinion, is the easiest to bat on. “When the sun is out and the ball doesn’t do much. But when it starts to get dark, especially during twilight, it gets very tricky. The light changes. It is difficult to sight the ball. Then again, under lights, it is like playing the first session in the morning of a normal Test match. The ball tends to swing a lot,” he analysed.
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