Virat Kohli had his first taste of Test captaincy in Adelaide. Now, two Tests later, he has been officially enthroned as India’s Test captain. In his first address to the media as Team India’s new leader, Virat spoke of the collective goal that he wants his team to achieve. (Also Read: India's greatest Captain MS Dhoni Retires from Test cricket)
“The collective vision is to become a strong Test side because there is a lot of ability and talent,” Virat said. “Commanding the position will come in some time and we want to be able to dictate terms when we go out there to play.”
On MS Dhoni’s decision to quit Test cricket, Virat said it came as a surprise to the team.
“It was a surprise for everyone. After the match we were changing and packing our stuff and that’s when he announced his decision. We didn’t know how to react. We were all stunned. It was so sudden, we had no clue. We never saw it coming.
“It was a very emotional moment for him and also for young players including me who started playing international cricket under his captaincy.”
Virat said he will continue to take Dhoni’s advice for as long as he remains with the team. “I always like to take his input because of the experience he has in international cricket in facing all sorts of situations.
“I hope I can be as calm as he is. Everyone has different styles but as long as you keep taking in the positives from others, you will improve.”
Virat said he is well aware of the challenges that come with being India’s captain and he will try to approach the job as calmly as he can.
“I know the amount of pressure and expectations that come with the job. But I also know that as a captain you are only as good or bad as your team plays. I love my hair and I don’t want to lose them. So I will try not to take too much stress,” Virat said.
From his experience of leading the team in the Adelaide Test, Virat said he has reflected back and noted down the areas where he and the team can improve.
“There were quite a few things from Adelaide that can be improved on. I thought about the mistakes I made in Adelaide and how I can correct them. I don’t think there are a lot of changes because the message was simple – go out there and back yourself to play. What we could have done better is win those important moments,” he said.
One of the things Virat thought that can be improved is the consistency in bowling. “I still maintain if you have three bowlers bowling 140-plus you have an advantage,” he said. “But at the end of the day how consistently you bowl in the right areas matters most. They know it and we want to give them the breathing space.
“They are very close to getting there. They showed that in the second innings of the MCG Test and they know it can be done. I was really excited to see what they did there and I hope they maintain it in the future,” he said, while also mentioning that at times the criticism of the Indian bowlers is uncalled for.
“Sometimes we become too harsh on our bowlers. When our bowlers get hit it is bad bowling but when we hit other bowlers, it is good batting. I have complete faith in my bowlers and I know they can win us Test matches by taking 20 wickets.”