Reclaiming the No. 1 spot has not satiated Virat Kohli’s hunger for success and the Indian captain on Monday said the team will at no point “take the foot off the pedal” as he set his sights on holding onto the numero uno status for a prolonged period.
India dethroned arch-rivals Pakistan from the top of the ICC Test rankings with a 178-run win over New Zealand for an unassailable 2-0 lead, the victory coming on the back of a brilliant all-round performance.
“I mentioned this before also, rankings are something that are just an incentive for what you do on the field. I didn’t even know how many points difference we had to get to No 1. We just want to win every game we play, it’s as simple as that,” Kohli said in the post match news conference.
He added, “It doesn’t mean that we take the foot off the pedal in Indore. We don’t drop intensity there, we don’t drop our character, our vision to win a Test match for the country.”
This was India’s fourth successive Test series victory under Kohli, beginning with the success story in Sri Lanka. India are now unbeaten in 13 Tests, including 11 wins and two draws.Taking a dig at critics, the combative skipper said, “I feel all those questions are to take the focus away from the team. We don’t believe in that. Because we have to go and play cricket ourselves. We can’t think of external factors. We never do.
Kohli said the team’s only aim is to win matches, irrespective of where they are playing.
“We have shown that over the past one-and-a-half years. So we don’t go out there to prove anything to anyone. That we have a challenging win and we have to win because people are asking questions. We are doing our job, people are doing theirs. That’s how the balance goes.
“It’s basically what you want to entertain and what you don’t want to entertain. As simple as that. But when we go on to the pitch we have control of what we can achieve. We understand our abilities.
“We have enough belief in our abilities to play good cricket anywhere. Not putting pressure of winning on challenging wickets, but believing in ourselves to execute our plans to the best of our abilities to execute.”
Having completed a comprehensive 197-run victory on a turning Kanpur wicket, the conditions at the Eden were different. The relaid surface offered variable bounce as the Indian seamers took 12 wickets, including a fine five-wicket haul for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
“Obviously individual brilliance, one-odd game, someone will get a magnificent hundred in the fourth innings and win you the game. You’ll feel very happy but as a captain I think this win is far more satisfying than individual brilliance winning you a game.
“You don’t want to sit in the dressing room and see a couple of sad faces. If all of your players perform, there is nothing like it. When everyone contributes, it is a happy environment.”