After recording a convincing victory against New Zealand in the second Test and India's 250th home Test on a seamer-friendly pitch of the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday, India captain Virat Kohli said his team always focused on winning every match without worrying about “external factors.”
“Our aim is to win matches anywhere and everywhere we play. We have shown that over the past one-and-a-half years. So we don’t go out there to prove anything to anyone...When we go on to the pitch we have control of what we can achieve. We have enough belief in our abilities to play good cricket anywhere,” said Kohli at the post-match press conference.
Kohli preferred collective performances over individual brilliance. “When everyone contributes, it is a happy environment. People are happy about their contribution to the team’s cause in a victory. This is a Test match that players took as an opportunity to build character rather than pressure. The more we win Test matches like this the more we understand how Test matches can be won. It’s all about feeding those things into your head and keep repeating it. That’s what consistency is.”
Counting the gains from the series so far, the Indian skipper felt batting contributions of Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav in the first match and Wriddhiman Saha's performances with the bat in both innings here were the highlights.
Kohli said India getting to the No. 1 rank was just an incentive of the good work of his team. “It doesn’t mean that we take the foot off the pedal in Indore (Test)... It’s our responsibility to keep Test cricket where it belongs.”
Kohli informed that opener Shikhar Dhawan had a minor fracture on his left hand and would miss the next Test as he had been advised 15 days' rest.
New Zealand stand-in skipper Ross Taylor said even after the disappointing loss, his side could take heart from its bowlers' good showing here. “We are still fizzing to go for Indore, hopefully we can play some fear-free cricket to put India under pressure.”
Taylor said Saha's batting tilted the match in India's favour. “The way Saha came out in both innings when the match was in balance — those two 50s — put us on the back foot.”
Talyor said coping with the heat was a problem for his players. “Definitely (this match is) up with hottest Test series I’ve been part of. A lot of their bowlers and batsmen were tired too. Pretty hot and humid.”
On Kane Williamson's unavailability due to health issues for the second Test, Taylor said, “It is disappointing to have your skipper and best player out...It was good to see him walking about [today]. There are positive signs he'll be ready for the next match and it will obviously be good for the team."