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Virat Kohli: The Indian team are expected to win everything, but that’s not realistic

Updated on: 07 December,2021 07:38 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Subodh Mayure |

India skipper Virat Kohli lauds his side after massive 372-run win over New Zealand to clinch Test series 1-0; says victories in Australia and England boosted team’s confidence

Virat Kohli: The Indian team are expected to win everything, but that’s not realistic

Team India pose with the trophy after the Test series win over New Zealand at Wankhede yesterday. Pic/AFP

After India’s dominant 372-run triumph over New Zealand on Day 4 of the second and final Test at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday, skipper Virat Kohli proudly announced that Indian cricket is in safe hands.

India take No.1 spot

India lost the World Test Championship (WTC) final to the same opponents by eight wickets at Southampton, England, in June. However, having secured a 1-0 Test series win over the WTC champions, Team India (124 points) have dislodged NZ (121 points) to reclaim the top spot in the ICC Test rankings.

When NZ resumed Day Four on their overnight score of 140-5, they were 400 runs behind the victory target.  The last five NZ wickets did not take too long to fall—43 minutes to be precise—as India recorded its biggest ever Test win in terms of runs.

Rachin Ravindra (18), who fought hard to help his team draw the Kanpur Test last week, was the first one to go. Off-spinner Jayant Yadav’s (4-49) flighted delivery got the edge of Ravindra’s bat and Cheteshwar Pujara took a simple catch at second slip. The visitors, who were bundled out for a mere 62 in the first innings, managed only 167 in the second essay. Offie Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 4-34, while left-arm spinner Axar Patel bagged the lone wicket of NZ top-scorer Daryl Mitchell (60) on Sunday.

“The year has been very good for us. We have played very good cricket. There were two setbacks, at the T20 WC [in UAE last month] and WTC [final]. Victories in England and in Australia gave us a lot of confidence,” Kohli said during the virtual post-match press conference on Monday.

Big wins abroad

India began the year by winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, beating Australia 2-1 Down Under in January 2021. They then outclassed England, winning the four-match Test series 3-1 at home in February and March. Thereafter, in English conditions India came away with two wins, a loss and a draw in August-September this year. Skipper Kohli stressed that the high standards set by this team must be maintained. “The Indian team are expected to win everything, but that’s not realistic. We know what we need to work on and improve on and look forward to. That’s our process. We have set a high standard for Indian cricket and that needs to be maintained. That’s what we must keep in the forefront of our minds,” said Kohli, who scored zero and 36 in the match.

Kohli lavished praise on opener Mayank Agarwal, for his impressive 150 and 62 at the Wankhede. “Great application from him [Agarwal]. To play at this level for such a long time, you need to have a lot of character, and he has plenty of that. He’s definitely an asset and he has fantastic character. These innings will give him a lot of confidence,” Kohli said. 

Brief scores
India 325 & 276-7d beat NZ 62 & 167 (D Mitchell 60, H Nicholls 44; R Ashwin 4-34, J Yadav 4-49) by 372 runs

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