Kohli: Have a lot of special memories at Kotla

A day ahead of leading the Indian team in the fourth and final Test against South Africa on his home ground, the Ferozeshah Kotla, captain Virat Kohli spoke about a variety of topics – including his fond memories of the Kotla, the Indian team's ruthlessness and the controversies related to the spinner-friendly pitches.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli trains at the Feroz Shah Kotla ahead of the final Test.   -  R. V. Moorthy

A day ahead of leading the Indian team in the fourth and final Test against South Africa on his home ground, the Ferozeshah Kotla here, on Thursday, captain Virat Kohli spoke about a variety of topics – including his fond memories of the Kotla, the Indian team's ruthlessness and the controversies related to the spinner-friendly pitches.

On leading India on home ground:

For me, it is a privilege to play in my home town as a Test captain. My start was here—state cricket and Ranji Trophy. So I have a lot of special memories.

On his reading of the pitch:

We are very confident. There are no issues with regards to confidence, ability or fitness. Does not matter if the match goes for three, four or five days, our aim is to win matches. That is our mindset...I don't want to talk too much about the pitch. Because there has already been a lot of talk about it.

On ICC rating Nagpur pitch as poor:

There have been three scores of under 50 in Tests in South Africa. I haven't seen any articles about that. Teams have been bundled out for less than 100, six times in South Africa. There's not been an article about that. Articles are there to be written. It's about the mindset or opinion of someone...It doesn't bother me or the team.

It was an ICC statement:

Yeah, I am talking about everyone. I am not talking about people writing articles in general. It is an assessment that has happened in every condition, in every ground. Unfortunately, in our country and in our situation, it is highlighted a lot more.

On his batting faults from England resurfacing:

It was a mistake (getting out to Morne Morkel in Nagpur). I am not sitting here to make excuses... England was a phase when I was not mentally into it.

On Indian batsmen's technical issues against spinners:

We are prepared to face anyone anywhere...I don't understand why we are not talking about the fact that we are 2-0 up and trying to criticise our players. As regards our weaknesses we know them and we are working on them.

On Amla's statement of winning or losing honourably:

I am sure he is speaking about teams having the character to stay together in losses as well. We have faced quite a few of those times when we have toured abroad. To still keep playing positive cricket when you are not winning games is still a challenge and we are certainly proud of the way we have played this series.

On team's goals:

The whole idea is to create a culture where people are willing to work hard and give their 110 percent to make sure that the team wins Test matches. And this is a habit we are going to create whether we play here or whether we play abroad.

It was projected as a big series. Whether it is a good series:

I think it was a good Test cricket. People want to see results. People want to see exciting cricket and that is what has happened in this series. We haven't thought about it being a very big series.

On the chance to reach No. 2 in the ICC rankings:

Not at all. We don't play for rankings, we don't play for averages or numbers.