Mumbai: India Test skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday said it was a real disappointment for him to see people in the country looking for weaknesses and areas of criticism and not speak about the kind of good cricket the team played against South Africa in the just concluded Test series.
The hosts defeated the Proteas by 337 runs in the fourth and final Test to win the series 3-0 at the Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi on Monday to end the visitors’ nine-year unbeaten run on foreign soil.
After losing both Twenty20 and One-Day International (ODI) series, India came back strongly to win the first Test by 108 runs at Mohali and the third match by 124 runs in Nagpur. The second match at Bengaluru was rained off.
The nature of pitch produced during the Test series was the centre of controversy and talk right through the series.
“It is a pity. The series happened in our country and our own people are looking for weaknesses and areas of criticism, and not speaking enough about the kind of good cricket we played. They have been talking about the pitches and how that has been a factor,” Kohli was quoted as saying by BCCI.tv on Thursday.
“In this series, four of the top five run-getters were Indians. Top two wicket-takers were Indians. We have had no excuses, we played honest cricket and we got the results in our favour. We are proud of what we have done and how we have played,” he said.
The Delhi batsman said it was hurting to even see former players not talk enough about the fact that the team was winning.
“It obviously hurts when people who have played the game themselves make such comments. I am not saying all of them do it. Some of them understand the mindset of the players, having gone through similar situations in their careers. They lend you support, say the right thing and even help you with certain technicalities,” he said.
Praising pacer Umesh Yadav, whose last spell in the Delhi Test turned the game in the hosts’ favour, the skipper said: “Absolutely. The way he bowled so brilliantly, he opened things up for us beautifully with that wicket of Dane Vilas just after tea.”
“I had a discussion with Ravi (Shastri) bhai during the tea break and he said we must try and bowl as many overs as possible by bringing in spin from both ends.”
“But I told him that the ball is reversing and Umesh is bowling with pace, so let me try and bowl him for a few overs as it might just hit the pad or something. And he just turned the whole game around,” he said.
The 27-year-old was pleased to see experienced Ishant Sharma lead the pace attack.
“I am very pleased to see Ishant taking up the role of the leader of the pace attack, and he is actually feeling like one. With the kind of experience he has under his belt, it is important for him to guide the other guys. It is important that others grow in his presence and he is bowling beautifully,” the 27-year-old said.
“The way he bowled in Sri Lanka, I have never seen him bowl like that since his first tour of Australia (in 2008). He has got his confidence back. Even in this series, he knew he did his job for the team by putting in those maidens and creating pressure,” Kohli concluded.