India's star batsman Virat Kohli stresses on importance of winning opening Test against England in Nottingham
Nottingham: Star batsman Virat Kohli is itching to play his first Test in England after enjoying a century effort on every overseas Test series save the 2011 in the West Indies where he made his debut in the traditional form of the game.
Virat Kohli during a practice session at Trent Bridge in Nottingham yesterday. Pic/AFP
Kohli's first big English assignment starts on Wednesday when MS Dhoni's Indians take on Alastair Cook's men here at Trent Bridge. "England is a pretty special place to play cricket.
I'll be playing a Test at Lord's (July 17 to 21) for the first time so all in all, a very exciting tour for me personally because I have never played Test cricket here before. I am really looking forward to it," said Kohli, who watched India's 0-4 decimation from the dressing room in 2011.
'Excited to play in England'
"I have some goals I want to achieve and I have been thinking about them. I am pretty excited about playing here, and it is right up there with the toughest venues for subcontinent players," he added.
Kohli was not coy to stress that India should be on the offensive from Ball One on Wednesday: "You have to be thinking about winning the first game of the series, putting on a strong performance. In a five-Test series the first game obviously sets the tone, and the other team has to claw back. England have played some really good cricket here.
"So have we. In the last tour we didn't play so much as we wanted to. On the previous tours before that, India has done well here. We can take a lot of confidence from that.
The first game will be really important to set the tone. There is a lot of time to come back but whoever wins the first Test will obviously hold the advantage. Both teams will be eager to getting off on the right note."
Kohli's optimism and positive attitude comes shining through. And that for starters, is a big tick mark for the tourists who are being mentored till the first Test by batting great Rahul Dravid.
England's margin of victory in the 2011 Trent Bridge Test against India