Winning in Southampton is going to be even harder, says Kohli

Virat Kohli is confident his side will not squander the momentum it has gained when the fourth Test begins on Thursday.

Kohli: "Instead of focusing on the batsmen, we’ve been focusing on the bowlers, on how to take 20 wickets."   -  AP

Virat Kohli is confident his side will not squander the momentum it has gained when the fourth Test begins here on Thursday.

Back in 2014, India had arrived at the Ageas Bowl fresh off victory at Lord's and ahead in the series, but that game ended in defeat, and things unravelled thereafter.

"Last time around, we probably didn’t have the experience to capitalize on the lead," Kohli said here on Wednesday. "Right now we understand that we are in a very exciting position. To have played like that when 2-nil down, when everyone thought that it was going to be a clean sweep or we were going to be rolled over [was great]. But we will have to do that two more times for us to achieve the goal that we want. And not be satisfied at all with one victory only.

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"If Nottingham was hard work, this is going to be even harder. England would want to come back strongly. We understand that and we will have to be even better."

He did not feel the need to make any changes to his side, Kohli stated.  Should India field an unchanged XI, it will be the first such instance in what will be Kohli's 39th match as captain.

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"I was just speaking to Michael Atherton on my way in and he asked me the same question (if India will field an unchanged side). I said it has not always been the case of (tactical) changes. There have been injuries as well, which have not been taken into consideration. It has been a mix of both."

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There may have been some grass on the pitch but Kohli ruled out the idea of fielding an all-pace attack. "If there is a pitch like

Johannesburg (third Test against South Africa), then you have no doubt whatsoever in playing an all-pace attack. But I don’t think this pitch is anywhere close to Johannesburg," he said. "So I doubt it's the right option. You might get excited and do that, but it doesn’t make much sense. Because the last time we played here the spinners came into play in the second innings. There were big footmarks. The surface is pretty hard."

India's batsmen had to be flexible, Kohli felt. "That was so beautiful to see in the last game, the batsmen adapted so quickly according to what the conditions were like," he said. "[The weather and overhead conditions] are going to be a massive factor as well because it’s been cold for the last couple of days and it’s going to remain like that from what I understand. We will have to assess the situation every hour because it can change very rapidly."

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His pace bowlers were capable of threatening any line-up, Kohli stated. "Instead of focusing on the batsmen, we’ve been focusing on the bowlers, on how to take 20 wickets," he said.

"That’s why we’ve been playing with five bowlers for a long time now. It gives us happiness when we see our bowlers rushing the opposite batsmen. The game remains in the balance. We don’t think we are at a disadvantage when it comes to pace bowling. We think we are equal to any team in the world and if we play well, we can win anywhere."

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