Virat Kohli’s debut as the Test captain is not what one can expect from him. The present time is slightly different from what one can imagine in the context of the performance of the team in Test cricket. His introductory speech as a Test captain had words like “immense possibilities” and “history” but recently his press conference has referenced to the words like “mistakes”, “correct” and “rectify”.
This brings us to the reality that Kohli is not the only international captain who is brought in touch with reality after riding a high wave of considerable success for a long period.
Speaking on the improvement in the performance of the team, Kohli said, “Although it’s a team game, each individual is doing his own time at any given time. I think you have to realise that to rectify that aspect of your game. Like I said, the individuals have reflected on those things, and when a similar situation arrives, make sure you don’t repeat the same mistake. That’s when you know you have made progress.”
He added that there is a continuous discussion going on what went wrong with the team’s performance in the Tests against South Africa. He spoke of batting coach Sanjay Bangar and added “he is assisting us with all our batting requirements for so long. Everyone has been spoken to individually; the discussions have happened as to what went wrong, what happened, why it happened and the guys have taken it well.”
The poor performance in the Tests is not solely the fault of the batting order, as fielding seems to a major flaw as well. In the series, India put down 8 straightforward catches, seven of which were in the Centurion. Kohli admitted that hosts have far better fielding performance than India. He said, “Look fielding is obviously a big factor. They have fielded better than us and it’s visible and not a question of having numbers attached to it.”
It doesn’t matter how Kohli sees it, but the third Test will see the responsibility for captain widening with a pure pressure to perform and prevent whitewash at the hands of hosts. He has to perform not only as a run-maker but primarily as the man-management to keep the teamwork going.
But Kohli is a fighter and he is ready to take on the challenge. He says, “Sometimes when the team is playing so beautifully, you don’t need to do anything you feel so relaxed. So even this is a part of it. I have to take it in my stride and go forward. And not sit here and say ‘this is a lot of burden’ That’s not the right attitude. I’m willing to go through any kind of phase, I have gone through bad phases in my career. Ups and downs are a part of a sportsman’s career and I understand that.”