Kohli hints at changes in the Test setup after the WTC final

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24 Jun 2021 | 04:48 AM
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Kohli hints at changes in the Test setup after the WTC final

The Indian skipper agreed to the need for reassessing the side to keep the standards high

While Virat Kohli defended the XI picked for the World Test Championship final throughout, he had no qualms about reassessing the look of the overall side in near future.

"We will continue to reassess, continue to have conversations around what are the things required to strengthen our side and not follow or fall prey to certain patterns," Kohli said at the post-match virtual press conference.

Asked about the plans for the building a Test side for the future after the WTC along the lines of how it is done after a World Cup in white-ball cricket, Kohli was upfront about the need for doing so in the near future.

“When you have been a top for a few years in a row, you don’t want to suddenly drop your standards and we need to keep up with the demands of the game and understand exactly where we need to rectify the areas that need to be rectified as a team and move in the right direction. We will certainly take those decisions and have those conversations in the near future. It’s not something that we will not wait for a year or so and have to plan ahead. If you see our white-ball team now, we have great depth and guys are ready and confident. The same thing needs to be done with Test cricket. You have to reassess and replan and understand what dynamics work for the team and how we can be fearless. Bring in the right people who have the right mindset to perform," the skipper added.

On the batting line-up being vulnerable to seam

When asked about the struggle of the Indian batsmen against New Zealand in recent times and in seaming conditions overhaul, Kohli attributed it to be confident in taking calculated risks.

"We definitely need to work out better plans on understanding how to score runs. We have to stay in sync with the momentum of the game and not let the game drift away too much. I don't think there are any technical difficulties as such." It's more down to game awareness and being more brave in putting bowlers under pressure and not allowing them to bowl in similar areas for longer periods of time unless it is absolutely overcast and ball swinging all over the place like it happened on day 1."

“Our endeavour from here will be to try and score runs and not worry about getting out in testing conditions. That's the only way you can score and put the opposition under pressure, otherwise, you're just literally standing there hoping that you don't get out and eventually you will because you're not being optimistic enough.”

"I think you have to take more risks and calculated risks and be confident about taking those risks against a quality bowling attack like New Zealand. We know that, as a batting unit, if we consistently put up 300 on the board then it is a different kind of pressure on the opposition with the kind of bowlers that we have.

On the format of the WTC final

Though Kohli threw his weight behind the concept of the WTC, he feels that a 3- match series would be a better way to decide the worthy winners.

"I am not in absolute agreement of deciding the best Test side in the world over the course of one game. If it is a Test series, it has to be a test of character over three Tests - which team has the ability to come back in the series or totally blow away the other team. It can't just be pressure applied over two days of good cricket and then suddenly you are not a good Test side anymore. I don't believe in it,"

"If you saw the way the game went, with whatever time we got on the field, why wouldn't you want to see two more Tests of the same teams battling it out and, eventually, being the worthy winners of the World Test Championship? Historically all the great series that you've seen in Test cricket, you remember them over a period of three matches or five matches perhaps, with two teams going against each other and those series become memorable," 

"This definitely has to be brought in. I'm not saying this because we're not on the winning side, but just for Test cricket and for this saga to be absolutely memorable, it has to happen over a period of three games minimum, so that you have a series to remember. There are going to be ups and downs throughout, with two quality sides going at each other, knowing that there's so much on the line.”

"So we are not too bothered by this result because we understand as a Test side what we have done over the last 3-4 years, not just over the last 18 months. So this is not a measure of who we are as a team [with] the ability and the potential we have had for so many years now."

On Rishabh Pant's approach

Along expected lines, Kohli was aligned with Pant's approach. "Rishabh is just going to be a very expressive player whenever he gets an opportunity," Kohli said. "Whenever there is a situation that needs to be understood, I think he assesses it really well. When things don't come off, you can say that it was an error of judgment and that's acceptable in sport

"We don't want him to lose his positivity or his optimism in changing the situation for the team, and that's where his USP lies, and we will definitely continue to back him to play that way and find ways to put pressure on the opposition and find ways to score runs, which is his natural game."

On how the batsmen could have handled Kyle Jamieson

“His height gives him an added advantage. I truly believe that we did not put him under enough pressure. We allowed him to bowl in similar areas for long periods of time and probably didn’t work out the areas that we could score against him. That was probably down to his consistency as well, for a tall guy like that to not miss his length that so often is great quality."

Kohli also mentioned that in preparation for the series against England, they wanted first-class games but that has not been given to them. 

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India vs New ZealandICC World Test Championship, 2021IndiaNew ZealandVirat KohliRishabh PantKyle Jamieson

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