Cautioning his No.1-ranked team against any complacency while playing in Tests against Bangladesh, India cricket captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday said the Tigers have the required skills to be successful in the five-day format as well.
“I think they have the skill. They just don’t play that many Test matches to gain confidence as a squad. It’s very basic. They have become a very good one-day side because of the fact that they play so many one-dayers and they have their set combinations,” Kohli said at a pre-match media conference on the eve of their one-off Test here.
“If you don’t play Test cricket very often, you will never understand the mindset. That’s where it comes from. They have beaten all the sides in one-day cricket, because they know how to play the format. You can practice as much as you want but game time is important. Ability is going to be there. It’s the mindset that changes from format to format,” he added.
“I am sure that if they play more Test cricket, they will become solid Test players and a solid Test team as well. I think it should be pushed. They certainly have the ability to compete at the Test level. We are wary of their skills and the talent that they bring to the table. We are going to focus on what we do best as a team.”
The Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium marks Bangladesh’s debut five-day outing on Indian soil since gaining Test status back in 2000.
Despite India playing a vital role in helping the neighbours attain the status, both the countries have engaged in only eight Tests so far — all in Bangladesh — with India winning six encounters.
But Kohli feels his teams needs to continue what it has been doing. “No team is invincible. In cricket, there are opportunities for both sides at different stages of the game. We want to focus on our processes,” Kohli said.
“One session or one hour in Test cricket can swing the game in any team’s direction. We have been able to win games because of persistence from our bowlers, application from our batsmen and coming back from tough situations. Our game is going to be exactly the same as it was in the ODIs and T20Is (vs England).”
the 28-year-old also clarified that experienced batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who is now fighting fit after missing a couple of games against England due to a hand injury, will be drafted into the XI at the expense of triple-centurion Karun Nair, who replaced him during the England series.
“I feel one game doesn’t overshadow two years of hard work from another player. You have to understand that Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) has done for the team over the last two years,” Kohli said of Rahane.
“He averages almost 50 in the last two years and he is probably the most solid batsman in the team in the Test format. We will look at him from that point of view certainly. Karun was stepping into his shoes. What he did was remarkable. Sealing a spot as far as the squad is concerned — that’s what Karun did,” he added.
“But you can’t overlook two years of hard work from Ajinkya with just one Test match. He deserves to walk back into the team whenever he is fit.”