Kohli happy with team’s character

After leading India to a 3-0 win in his backyard in his first home series as captain, Virat Kohli spoke about the team’s approach towards winning Test matches and the future.

Virat Kohli is ecstatic after winning his first home series as skipper.   -  R. V. Moorthy

After leading India to a 3-0 win in his backyard in his first home series as captain, Virat Kohli spoke about the team’s approach towards winning Test matches and the future.

On erasing scars of earlier series losses

Credit to the team for showing character and bouncing back in the last two series. It all began in Australia. We showed character even in defeats. That gave us a lot of belief as a Test team. We took it to Sri Lanka. We had a few plans; rules that we needed in order to do well. We gave everyone responsibility.

On South Africa’s skill of defending

To play like that is a difficult skill. I was surprised at their approach. I’m happy that bowlers were going through a phase where their patience and character would be tested. We came out with flying colours.

On World No. 2 status

Rankings do not matter to me. Neither does it matter to the squad. If we keep performing well, obviously rankings will go up... It’s been three series I have been full-time captain. I have enjoyed it.

On whether critics got a fitting reply

We believe we can win against any opposition at any place in the world. Now how that will be presented is not in our control. We can only control our performance with bat and ball.

On whether South Africa’s approach was a poor advertisement for Test cricket

It’s a strategy from a team. The way we batted and bowled in second innings, people would have enjoyed as we came out of difficult occasions.

On the partnership between him and Rahane

Happy with the way Ajinkya and I played because at 57 for four if you lose another wicket the target will be around 300-315, which is a tricky total with two days to go. We had a discussion that although we are up in the series, we need to enjoy and learn from this situation for future games. If we bat through this situation and build a big partnership, which will give us confidence to do so in crunch games as well.

We kept communicating. I enjoy batting with him. We had some really good partnerships in the past. What I like about him is that his intent, backed by solid technique, is really good. It is a rare balance. He has played some very important knocks for us in the last couple of years, because he is probably one of the most important people in our middle order.

On not enforcing the follow-on

When opposition is playing with four bowlers, why would you want to enforce the follow-on?

When they’ve fielded for so long and then got out really quickly, you want them out in the field and make them work hard.