The top-ranked Indian Test team is on a roll having triumphed in five straight series under Virat Kohli but the captain insists his side will have to keep winning consistently for the next 7-8 years to leave a mark on the world stage.
With the win in the Mumbai Test, the Kohli-led team secured the five-match series against England and the emphatic performance came after India got the better of New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa and Sri Lanka in the previous rubbers.
“It (the phase) looks really good because we have come out of transition and immediately started winning games. But I wouldn’t take this as overconfidence. As I said, it’s an ongoing process which needs to be sustained for the next five-seven or eight years for us to become a top quality side and leave a mark on world cricket; maybe known as one of the best teams to have assembled on the field.”
“We want to do it across formats and make that mark for Indian cricket on the world stage. But it requires a lot of persistence and skill, lot of hard work on your fitness and those are the key factors which will decide where we go as a unit. We don’t feel invincible to be honest, we respect every opposition, we admit every time we are put under pressure, and we know teams are going to put us under pressure. We appreciate that, we accept that and we try to find a way out of it. I think that’s been the key for us and as I said it’s a process that should go on for another seven-eight years,” said the skipper, who has played an important role in the team’s success.
In the media interaction, Kohli again showered praise on Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and rookie Jayant Yadav, who scored a hundred in Mumbai batting at number nine.
“Their contributions with the bat have been outstanding. Hasn’t taken much from me at all to motivate them. I think Ashwin has set a benchmark for the other spinners to contribute with the bat as well. Jadeja has come of age with the bat in this series, we saw his knock in Mohali, where he went out with lot of confidence and scored 90 runs for us. Jayant Yadav as well.
He gets inspired seeing Ashwin the way he improves his cricket every time. Jayant always has been a keen learner. All the fast bowlers as well. Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh (Yadav) have become so much better with the bat and they understand the importance of those runs. So as a captain it gives you more freedom to play five batsmen rather than thinking of another batsman when your bowlers contribute 120-130 runs in every game for you,” said Kohli.
Kohli also praised the opposition players especially Joe Root, who is tipped to replace Alastair Cook as England captain.