Professional India look to maintain standard

This Indian team under Virat Kohli, with an envious bowling attack and an experienced batting line-up, has been demolishing records series after series. They became the first Indian team to defeat Australia away last December-January and in the trip to the West Indies this August-September, Kohli became the most successful Indian Test captain. He now has 32 wins.

During the South Africa series, Kohli’s team became the first Indian side to whitewash the Proteas (3-0) and following the crushing win over Bangladesh in the opening Test here on Saturday, the Delhiite surpassed Dhoni’s record of most innings victories — 10 — as captain. Kohli’s side also matched the Indian record for consecutive Test wins — 6 — and they look favourites to break that feat as well next week at the Eden Gardens.

As the numbers suggest, the current crop has been relentless, especially at home. No matter who the opposition is, strong or weak, they barely show any mercy and take great pride in team as well as personal performance. They barely lift their foot off the accelerator, batsman hungry for big hundreds and bowlers hunting in packs.

A delighted Kohli said he wants his team to keep pushing the boundaries and be known as the best Indian side ever. “Don't know what to say (laughs), another clinical performance,” he said at the post-match presentation. “Very professional with the bat, playing five batters with one guy taking responsibility is what we want with overseas tours coming up. Hats off to the boys. We're looking at keeping the standards up, motivating the next lot of players. In that process, we're pushing up the standards of Indian cricket.

“We don't care about numbers at all as a team. The mindset is simple, when you see a young guy coming in to bat, in Tests I know how much time it took me to get those big hundreds, so I know the importance of getting big runs. It's important as a senior batter to let them know to keep going. I want them to not make the mistakes I made as a youngster.”

Bowling coach Bharat Arun, largely instrumental in piecing together a lethal pace attack that has become the talk of the cricketing world, echoed the captain’s though at the post-match press conference. “I think at present we're the No. 1 team in the world. Getting there is difficult, staying there is even more difficult. I think to do that over a period of three years, you need to stay constantly hungry.

“I think every victory gives you the confidence. There are lots of questions posed by you people, all I have to say is there are team goals that we play for. Maintaining the No.1 position is even more difficult than getting there. If everyone works towards the team goals, individual goal takes care of itself. And that’s exactly the team culture that’s been set by the captain and the head coach Ravi (Shastri). Everyone works towards the team goals.”

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