Once again the Indian team claimed a dominant victory against South Africa during the Pune Test. Indian captain Virat Kohli won the Player of the Match award for his outstanding double century in the Pune Test. Captain Kohli spoke about how he had maintained the constant batting form.
Pune Test was Virat Kohli’s 50th Test as captain. In this special game, Kohli slammed his seventh double-century in Test career. Scoring 254 not out in the first innings, Kohli broke his own record of the highest individual score as an Indian Test captain.
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After the opener Mayank Agarwal‘s century (108 runs), Kohli dominated the Indian batting. His unstoppable batting helped India to score 601/5 (decl.) in the first innings. Later, India bundled out South Africa on 275 and 189 (following-on) runs in the back-to-back innings. Kohli-led India finally won that game by an innings and 137 runs.
After that game, Kohli clarified the mindset that helped him to score the latest double-century.
In the post-match presentation ceremony, Kohli said, “As I said a couple of days back, it’s getting the responsibility of being captain. If you go out planning a double hundred you won’t get it, but if you go out planning to bat for five sessions, the double hundred will come. Earlier, I would think more from a personal point of view, but thinking of the team, all that pressure doesn’t come. (on early career) sometimes you play to prove people wrong but I’m at the stage of my career where I’m just happy to be where I am. Putting the team in a commanding position is the only thing I strive for. Of course I enjoy scoring runs, but if they come in a winning cause, nothing like it. You have to look forward to facing the new ball in the morning.”
I really enjoy batting with Ajinkya Rahane – Virat Kohli
During the Pune Test, Virat Kohli and the Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane put another great partnership that set the ultimate tone of the game. They had the giant partnership of 178 runs for the fourth wicket during the first innings.
It was Kohli’s 10th-century partnership with Rahane in Test cricket. In his Test career, Kohli has put the best partnership with Rahane. Including 10 century partnerships, Kohli-Rahane Test partnership has already managed to put 3,155 runs.
Talking about his partnership with Rahane, Kohli claimed that he enjoyed batting with the Test vice-captain.
Kohli added, “I really enjoy batting with Jinx (Rahane). When we have a partnership we invariably take the game forward. We take a lot of pride in contributing when the situation is tough. He keeps giving me regular feedback when things are going wrong, and vice versa as well.”
When we started off as a group we were at No.7
The Indian captain also praised and appreciated the efforts from all other players. He feels amazing to see the hunger and passion of the players to improve regularly. Kohli also lauded the efforts from the recent international returned cricketers – Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin etc.
Kohli claimed, “When we started off as a group we were at No.7 (in the Test rankings). The only way was up. We laid down a few things, told everyone to work hard at practice. We are lucky to have the group of players we have in the last three-four years. It’s amazing to see that hunger and passion for all the guys to keep improving. Mentioning Saha specially, he was a bit nervous coming into Vizag, but this game he kept beautifully. Ashwin as well stepped up beautifully coming back. Looking at the larger picture of the Test championship, every game has value so we’re not going to take our foot off the gas in the third Test. No one’s going to relax at any stage, that’s a guarantee.”
Indian pacer Umesh Yadav also made his Test return during the Pune Test. The 31-year-old fast bowler also dominated in this game as he took six wickets in this Test.