Thursday, Sep 21, 2023 | Last Update : 02:54 PM IST

  Sports   Cricket  03 Feb 2017  Ind vs Eng: Virat Kohli lauds youngsters’ effort

Ind vs Eng: Virat Kohli lauds youngsters’ effort

THE ASIAN AGE. | SANDEEP MENON
Published : Feb 3, 2017, 2:04 am IST
Updated : Feb 3, 2017, 7:13 am IST

Under the 28-year-old Kohli, India has lorded over England in all the three formats beginning with the Test series.

India captain Virat Kohli and Yuzvendra Chahal pose with their trophies. (Photo: R Samuel)
 India captain Virat Kohli and Yuzvendra Chahal pose with their trophies. (Photo: R Samuel)

Bengaluru: As captain, it seems like, Virat Kohli can do no wrong. With an impressive array of Test series scalps adorning his mantelpiece, the batsman has now successfully marked his arrival as a leader in his first full series as skipper across all formats.

Under the 28-year-old Kohli, India has lorded over England in all the three formats beginning with the Test series. And what makes it more dazzling is that he has done so, with a young team. A mentally strong team.

“We got the results we wanted. Obviously winning all three series feels really good because we’re up against a top quality side knowing that we didn’t have that much experience in our teams,” said Kohli.

“(The) Test team is almost as good as new. Even in the one-day circuit, we have three-four experienced guys but rest of the guys who stepped up are all youngsters. Which is I think is a massive, massive boost for Indian cricket,” said Kohli after his latest series win on Wednesday night at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium where India took the T20 series with a 75-run victory.

“Against teams like England you need more mental preparation than physical. One thing I think we did really well was to fight fire with fire. We were not willing to take a backward step. The way we batted was again a revelation. Even after me getting out initially, Raina and K.L. (Rahul) didn’t stop their instincts, which are needed in T20 cricket,” he remarked.

‘Strong mental attitude’
While Yuzvendra Chahal took the limelight with his 6/25 on the final T20, Kohli, who amassed 655 from eight innings with two centuries and half centuries during the Test series, credited the team’s mentality for their sustained success.

“Obviously the talks we have are on the basis of taking every day as an opportunity. Wanting to make a difference, taking responsibility and taking equal ownership of the team. That’s the only way the team can become a champion side. And that’s one reason why we’ve bounced back from difficult situations because we have always kept the team’s goals in our head,” he revealed.

“That’s why you see special performances from guys who haven’t played so many games. “The urge to win games pushes them to limits which they don’t otherwise realise about themselves. I think the biggest takeaway from these three series is that youngsters haven’t been shy to try anything and they’ve backed themselves.”

‘Take advice from MS’
The classy stroke-maker was also quick to attribute his success as captain to fellow senior members. “I have said this before, and you would have seen this on the field - I take a lot of advice from MS Dhoni and I’m always speaking a lot to Ashish Nehra as well. In the ODI series, I was talking to MS a lot. Although I have captained in the Test format for a while, ODI and T20 games move very fast. I follow my instincts most of the time but to take advice from a person who has captained the side at this level for so long is never a bad idea.”

Kohli also spoke about the embarrassment of riches that India have in the spin bowling department. “Guys like Chahal, Mishy (Amit Mishra) and (Parvez) Rasool has done well for us in limited overs and in Tests also. “Jayant too, came in and did very well for us in the Tests. It gives us an opportunity to rest Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja whenever we want. “There is no harm in using them as Test specialists and keeping them fresh. So we have a lot of spinners who are not only run-containing bowlers but also wicket-taking bowlers,” he said.

‘Rahul is a rare combination’
Following his stellar performances over the past year for India, Karnataka batsman K.L. Rahul received high praise from India captain Virat Kohli. “He is someone who has a great character. He is mentally tough, hardworking and takes a lot of pride in his cricket. He is confident and humble — a rare combination. He knows what he exactly wants to do, so that's a great thing. I wish I was as smart as him when I was 24,” said Kohli.

“He knows what he needs to do when put under pressure, and backs his game. It is important to back and identify guys like that. In the last 11 months or so since the IPL season, it is great to see the way he has matured. I hope he can keep doing the good work for the Indian team,” he added.

Tags: virat kohli, india vs england, yuzvendra chahal