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IND vs ENG Tests: Not here to offer explanation, we play to win, says Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli said that he would not be giving any explanations on all the outside noise regarding the conditions on offer as he and his team play to win

Virat Kohli | India vs England | India cricket team


Virat Kohli. Photo: Sportzpics for BCCI
Virat Kohli. Photo: Sportzpics for BCCI

India skipper on Wednesday said that he would not be giving any explanations on all the outside noise regarding the conditions on offer as he and his team play to win. He went on to add that for him, it was about the batsmen failing to put on a good show in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

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"I do not understand why the cricket ball and pitch are brought into focus this often, it was about the batsmen not being skilled enough on that pitch to play properly. It was a bizarre display of batting from both teams. I have played this game long enough to understand what happens on the field. I would love if people ask me the question about home advantage when we are on a tour of Australia and England, not when you have seen two turning tracks," said Kohli during a virtual press conference on Thursday.

"I would like to ask a question? You play to win or you play to take the game five days and have some entertainment? We play to win, we don't play that everyone scores runs. We play to win, people should enjoy when India wins, it should not matter in how many days the match is finishing. In the previous games, runs have been scored, you cannot criticise based on one game. Unfortunately, we do not want to give any explanation, so this question is not relevant to me, our focus is to win."

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Commenting on the social media milestones, Kohli said: "Hitting 100 million followers mark is no motivation to me, I am not bothered about these things. The only thing that inspires me is how can I be a better person and cricketer, I just want to improve myself."

When asked whether he supports rotation policy in the longest format of the game, Kohli said: "I think any format can be right for rotation, no human being can go through these many games, everyone needs to have a window to have a break, especially with the bubble format and the systems you have to follow in the bubble, it is pretty hard to stay excited about small things. Outside of that, it depends on how you stand mentally and physically, mental fatigue can be a big factor, these things are important and this is where our bench strength becomes important.

"If the guys are hungry and they are brave to take the opportunities, then you can rotate easily. We have a clear roadmap where we need to go in the next four-five years, we have a clear plan that we need to follow."

Talking about how Cheteshwar Pujara is the lynchpin of this Indian Test team, Kohli passionately said: "Pujara himself knows the things he needs to improve on. The fact of the matter is that four years ago, he was criticised for not scoring away from home, he was only a home track bully, now he is performing for you all over the world, now a couple of innings he has struggled where everyone has done the same barring Rohit.

"Ash (Ashwin) played well, Jinx (Rahane) got a fifty, I got a couple of 50s, it has not been easy. If you now start criticising his game at home, I do not think it would be fair and I will say it again and again, along with Jinx, he is our most important Test batsman. He is a very responsible guy, I am sure he will keep solidifying his game," he added.

The four-match series is currently being led by India (2-1) and the hosts just need to win or draw the final Test to qualify for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC).

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First Published: Wed, March 03 2021. 16:20 IST