“If you don’t get the preparation you need before a Test series, then it is actually not utilised well. Time is not utilised well if you don’t get the quality of opposition that you will face in Test cricket”
London : India captain Virat Kohli has questioned the “utility” of pre-series tour games if the touring side is not provided with ideal conditions and opposition before a Test series starts.
India have lost back-to-back Test series in South Africa and England with many former greats, including legendary Sunil Gavaskar questioning as to why the team did not play adequate number of warm-up games.
During an interview with Michael Holding for ‘Sony Liv’, Kohli gave his point of view on the raging debate about team’s mode of preparation. “Lot of people talk about tour games but where are those tour games happening and against what quality of bowling are very important questions to be asked,” Kohli said.
“Because if you don’t get the preparation you need before a Test series, then it is actually not utilised well. Time is not utilised well if you don’t get the quality of opposition that you will face in Test cricket,” he added.
Asked where exactly India went wrong in the ongoing series against England, Kohli pointed out two crucial phases — the second innings chase at the Edgbaston (1st Test) and the first innings at Southampton (fourth Test). “Sitting right now, two things — the second innings at Birmingham and first innings at Southampton. Sitting here, I am not thinking of anything else. The key was to make the team win and twice I could have contributed more.
“I know Trent Bridge was great but I remember second innings at Birmingham and first innings at Southampton and I am thinking about that. I am thinking so that if I am in the same position once again, I won’t let the team down,” Kohli said.
The skipper said that as a leader, he is the first one to own up mistakes. “I am always focussed on where my mistakes are and how I can improve upon them. I am willing to accept mistakes even in the best of times so that I can keep on improving.
“It’s important for the team that my mindset stays good so that I can lead from the front and if I am only thinking about my performances, then I am not doing justice to the responsibility that I am given.”
But Kohli did admit that it “hurt” losing matches from position of dominance. “It was a competitive series and we have already understood and admitted the things that we haven’t done well. That’s something we are keen to improve on as to get into competitive positions, you understand that you have the ability,” he said.
“When you don’t do that being in winning positions, obviously hurts more than anything. Probably, that’s frustrating, we have shown skill sets to get into winning positions and not capitalise on them. Try and get better as a team. Provided we are mentally tougher than opposition in difficult situations.”