We just want to win every game we play KOLKATA: India cannot afford to be complacent and should look to win every match, skipper Virat Kohli said Monday, even as his side reclaimed the top spot in Test rankings.
India romped to a 178-run victory against New Zealand on the fourth day of the second Test in Kolkata to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
If India’s seamers Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar played big roles on a seemingly two-paced track at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, then the batsmen also chipped in at crucial points.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha struck unbeaten half-centuries in both innings against New Zealand’s aggressive seamers to be named man of the match.
The teamwork saw India jump back to the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings after starting the series just one point behind arch-rivals Pakistan.
“We just want to win every game we play, it’s as simple as that. [Being number one] doesn’t mean that we take the foot off the pedal in Indore,” Kohli told reporters, referring to the venue for the final Test.
“We don’t drop intensity there, we don’t drop our character, our vision to win a Test match for the country.”
However, Kohli reiterated that rankings were never on his mind, adding the responsibility of taking Test cricket to greater heights is what he wanted.
“It’s our responsibility to keep Test cricket where it belongs, and if we play cricket like this – you saw how engaged the crowd was, they like to see exciting cricket, and we have to provide it,” said Kohli, who recorded his ninth Test win as captain.
Useful half-centuries from Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane also contributed to India’s big win, which was their 11th Test triumph in their last 13 matches.
“If all of your players perform, there is nothing like it … the more we win Test matches like this the more we understand how Test cricket is played, how Test matches can be won.
“As a captain I think this win is far more satisfying than individual brilliance winning you a game,” Kohli said.