Ind vs Eng: We need to be more relentless, says India skipper Virat Kohli
Speaking after the loss in the Southampton Test match, Virat Kohli acknowledged the fact that his side had learned to be competitive, but when it came to capitalising on the key moments, they still lacked the skills and drive
Ever since Virat Kohli started his captaincy stint, one of the primary principles he wanted to inculcate in his team was to be ruthless and aggressive. Playing on home soil, the Indian team had developed that merciless culture. But in the last two foreign series — in South Africa earlier this year and now in England — it is clear the team is still unable to push the line in conditions that are unfamiliar to the players.
India have now lost both the Test series and the old saying of tigers at home and lambs abroad is being echoed. Speaking after the Southampton Test match, Kohli acknowledged the fact that his side had learned to be competitive, but when it came to capitalising on the key moments, they still lacked the skills and drive.
"We can look at the scoreboard and say we were only 30 runs away or 50 runs away, but we have to recognise that when we are in the midst of the situation, and not later.
"When you come so close, there is an art of crossing the line as well, which we will have to learn. We have the ability, which is why we are getting close to a result, and we have belief in that ability. But when a pressure situation comes, how we react to it is something we have to work on a bit, and everyone is ready to work on that," he said.
One area that Kohli and India need to rectify is to start the series on the right note. In the last six series (excluding the one-off Tests) India have only managed to win the first Test on one occasion. Asked about the poor starts, Kohli said: "Look, we've spoken about that even during the match when we were in a driving position, we should be able to capitalise on it and not let the opposition come in and fight back again and again.
"As a group, we need to be more relentless when we start a series and be a bit more expressive and fearless at the beginning of a series. Especially a long series, because as I said at the start of the series, you have time to come back, but you want to come back when you've played fearless cricket and you don't want to be catching up too much."
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