Virat Kohli: ‘We want to win Tests everywhere we play’

The Indian captain raised the bar for his team, stressing that the squad has gone beyond the ‘home’ and ‘away’ concept and all that matters is winning Tests everywhere.

Virat Kohli celebrates with his team-mates after India secured an innings victory over Sri Lanka on Sunday.   -  AP

A delighted Virat Kohli praised his men, admired Sri Lanka’s resilience and was candid enough to admit that he dropped some catches. The India captain spoke at length after the second Test here on Sunday. He raised the bar for his team, stressing that the squad has gone beyond the ‘home’ and ‘away’ concept and all that matters is winning Tests everywhere.

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Excerpts

Enforcing the follow-on and watching Sri Lanka fight

You expect teams playing Test cricket to come out and play like that. Because of the way we got wickets in the first innings sometimes frustration can creep in when we don’t get wickets. You have to give credit to the batsmen as well. It was high-quality batting. We spoke as a team that we have to embrace this because all sessions are not going to go our way. So just keep working hard and wait for something to happen.

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Pitching it right

It was getting slower and that’s why we took the new ball straightaway as well. We thought with the harder new ball, deliveries might keep straight because the older ball was soft and all balls were turning so it was very difficult to get edges. The bowlers did an outstanding job in pulling things back. We were up against a challenge in the last four sessions and we managed to turn things around.

The sweep effect

It is a high-risk shot, especially against the pace of Jadeja. The right-hander (Kusal Mendis) played a high-quality innings; not even one sweep was mistimed. As a captain you can do only so much. The field was spread and still they found the gaps.

Winning matters

We are not looking at Tests now as ‘home’ and ‘away’ anymore. We want to win anywhere that we play. If we can believe enough in our abilities then we are not really bothered about where we are playing. That kind of energy I can sense in the team.

Slipping through

It (slip-catching) certainly is an area that we want to improve. On a pitch like that where it is getting slower, sometimes you end up standing ahead because you want to pick up catches from the front. And then when one big shot is played and the ball is bowled quick, then you suddenly look like you are not in position. K. L. (Rahul) and (Cheteshwar) Pujara are our close-in specialists. Pujara does gully for spinners as well but then he takes on short-leg and K. L. hasn’t done as much of that practice as Pujara does. So it becomes tricky. I try to chip in but when I drop catches, it looks bad. We have to figure out who stands in those positions consistently and keep the guys there for longer periods.