Kolkata, (IANS) Lauding his cricketers for showing character in crunch situations to bounce back and register an emphatic victory over New Zealand in the second Test here, Indian captain Virat Kohli on Monday said the team would endeavour to retain the consistency in the upcoming engagements.
New Zealand had reduced India to 43/4 in the home side’s second essay before Kohli (45), Rohit Sharma (82) and Wriddhiman Saha (58 not out) pulled the control in their team’s favour.
Later, while chasing 376-run target, New Zealand were stubborn in their response, losing their second wicket for a decent 104 runs before Mohammed Shami (3/46), Ravindra Jadeja (3/41) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3/82) gave India the control to win the match.
“I think we ticked all the boxes. We were put under pressure. We expect that from a side like New Zealand. But it takes character and to bounce back every time, and that’s what the boys did,” said Kohli after India decimated the Kiwis by 178 runs to take the series, and emerge as the world’s top Test team.
He said it was a “complete all-round performance” by the team and praised the bowlers, who stuck it out in both the innings.
He also referred to the good performance by the Indian lower order, with man-of-the-match Wriddhiman Saha striking two unbeaten half centuries and Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also contributing.
“Those extra runs in the end, with Saha batting there, (Mohammed) Shami and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) contributing, it was very important to get the extra runs,” he said.
On India becoming the numero uno Test team, Kohli said: “It is our objective to keep playing consistent cricket. Having a ranking and getting to number one, and dropping is something that can get out of your hand.”
“But right now with the coming home season, we do have control of this situation. I feel so it all depends on how good a side we are and how we play our cricket going into the season, the start has been good,” he said, mentioning India’s 2-0 triumph in the West Indies, followed by the unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing three-match series against New Zealand.
Kohli said the Indian team played some good cricket in the past one and half years, and wants to retain the momentum in future games.
“We just want to continue in the same vein and keep showing character whenever put under pressure,” he said.
Praising the Eden Gardens track, which had uneven bounce and gave carry to the pacers, he said: “It was a brilliant Test cricket wicket. Apart from the variable bounce here and here, I think when the wicket settles down, it will be a pretty wanted venue I guess for Test cricket in India.”