Melbourne, Dec 25 (GCSports) Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday urged his batsmen to perform better as a unit to complement the efforts of their fiery bowling attack in the upcoming Boxing Day Test against Australia starting on Wednesday.
“It is a very important thing. As we can all see, our bowling [attack] has been performing really well. However, we have to put more runs on the board as a batting unit, or else the bowlers will not be able to do too much with the total.
The visiting bowlers have been exceptional on the tour of Australia so far, claiming all 40 Australian scalps in the first two Tests. However, the batting has run hot and cold, unable to be consistent in four innings.
“Our aim is to put enough runs on the board to help our bowlers capitalise. If we bat second, we will look to amass enough lead if the situation allows or at least match the opposition total. Our batsmen need to step up together. I won’t point out anyone individually, but as a batting unit, we definitely need to do better together.” Kohli said on the eve of the third Test.
India have made three changes to their line-up from the second Test in Perth, bringing in debutant Mayank Agarwal, middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in place of openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay, and pacer Umesh Yadav.
The core of their pace bowling attack has remained intact, with Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami retaining their spots. “I hope that it’s a lively pitch. I hope that it does as much as it did in the first two games because as a side, you know you’re always in for a result that way,” added Kohli.
“The surface, what I saw yesterday looked pretty dry underneath. There’s a good coverage of grass which should keep the surface intact. I think it should have enough for the bowlers to be interested on all days of the Test match and hopefully, it’s a much more lively wicket than the last time we played here.”
Kohli, who scored a splendid 123 in the second Test in Perth, believes that succeeding overseas requires strong mentality more than solid technique.
“What has worked for me is being comfortable where I am playing. Not necessarily looking at how difficult the wicket is, but if you are able to feel comfortable there, then you are more or less in control of what you want to do,” he insisted.
“That’s something that you sit in your room and you work on – the mindset thing. If you are convinced in your mind that you can do it, your body starts reacting accordingly. It’s all about getting into that frame of mind. I feel it’s 80% mental and 20% technical when you go to any country away from your conditions to play.”
India and Australia go into the Boxing Day Test with the series tied at 1-1 and shaping up for a thrilling finish. Kohli, however, is focused on the present and wants his team to do the same.
“The key is to stay in the moment. What happened in the past has no significance to the next Test. You have to remember why you won the first Test, which was because of us being in the present moment,” he pointed out.
“The teams that remain in the present more win sessions, win balls, win overs – that’s all we are going to focus on. Play consistently good cricket and not get too excited or too taken aback by the situations getting altered during the course of the Test match.”