Can't take criticism about spinning track to heart: Virat Kohli

Bengaluru: India's Test captain Virat Kohli feels there is no need "to take criticisms to heart" about playing visiting South Africans on turning tracks, saying it is the result-oriented pitches that would bring the dwindling crowd back to the ground in the Test format.

Asked if the hat-trick of Test wins under his captaincy has been buried under the controversies surrounding the nature of Mohali track, Kohli gave a straightforward reply.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

"It's only disappointing if you are looking to take what is written or said to heart, or think about it too much. We focus on the process and don't really think about what's being written or what's being said. The fact of the matter is we won a Test match and that's what we feel good about as a team," Kohli told reporters on the eve of the second Test starting here tomorrow.

"We are not worried about any external factors or what's being discussed about things that are not in our control. If someone chooses to say or write about something which they feel is a topic of interest, that's their choice. It's up to us if we take it to heart or sit down and feel disappointed.

We are not at all disappointed. We won a game of cricket. We are very happy about it," he added.

The first Test saw lukewarm response from spectators and the captain took a dig at critics stating that it is the result-oriented wickets that makes the crowd throng the ground.

"We should be delighted that we are getting result-oriented wickets because then you will have more people coming in to watch Test matches rather than you know criticising the pitches and saying it is not fair," the skipper made it clear as to what exactly he felt about critics of rank turners.

For Kohli, the players are focussed so much on the game that other factors become non-issue when the match is on.

"It doesn't really make us sad that we won't have so many people turning up to watch this Test match. Obviously, you like playing in front of full stadiums and full crowds but eventually you are focusing on the ball that is bowled to you and as a bowler you are focusing on the ball that you have to bowl. We hope we get more number of people to watch this Test match because it is an exciting series, it is between two exciting and very strong teams."

The 27-year-old feels that there has been "no change in his mindset" from the time he first led the side in Adelaide to now but with the passage of time, he has learnt to assess his mistakes.

"There is no change in mindset. There might be lessons learnt from mistakes. That day in Adelaide, we were looking to win a Test match and we will do so in Bangalore as well.

Mindset remains same but you sit down and figure out the mistakes, you keep on correcting them as you go along.

"Similarly, when you are batting, the mindset does not change but you correct your mistakes and move along."

During their comprehensive win in Mohali, the two batsmen who contributed were Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay and the skipper said that he is "proud of both of them".

"We all are very proud of both of them (Pujara and Vijay), the way they batted in the last game. We can learn a lot from them in the way they applied themselves. Our batsmen didn't apply themselves as much as we wanted to as a batting group and we are aware of that. But not taking credit away from the way both of them batted. I think they kept us in the game throughout and that is very important I think, two guys standing up in each innings. Their contributions in both the innings were very crucial to us."

However the skipper said that he can't relax just because the batsmen ahead of him are performing.

"I cannot be relaxed as a captain because I have to bat at No 4 so if I relax I will probably not be in the right kind of mindset to go out and play. But it is a nice feeling to see two professionals building a partnership and it is always a good feeling to know that you have two guys in front who know how to score runs and who know what they are doing out in the

"It is always a very calming influence in the change room for the guys sitting outside or the bowlers as to say, they can feel pretty relaxed and pretty calm about those batting in the middle."

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