A brilliant century from the Indian captain Virat Kohli set up the tone in the first innings of the first Test against England in Edgbaston in Birmingham.
Cricket news: Kohli scored 149 to save his team in the first innings in the first Test against England
India were down to 100 for 5 and later to 169 for 7 when a brilliant 149 from Kohli took the team’s total to 274, giving the hosts a slender 13-runs lead in the first innings.
Kohli knows everything about what is said and written about him in the media and he believes that those criticisms help him to prepare for the better.
“I’ve mentioned these things in the pressers that I don’t see or read what people write about me. People think that I’m lying, but I genuinely have no idea what people are saying. I try to prepare the best way possible that I can and help my team as much as possible,” he told BCCI.tv.
Kohli was the last man standing for India and he was happy when his team bagged the solo wicket of former England captain Alastair Cook late in the day in the beginning of the second innings of England.
“It wasn’t only about getting to the three-figure mark, but also to capitalize on the hundred. I was very disappointed when I got out because I thought we could’ve taken a 10-15 run lead. But, in hindsight, we wouldn’t have been able to bowl then. So, I’d just accept what God’s bestowed upon me.”
One of the main talking points of this series has been the tussle between Kohli and England pacer James Anderson, who was the chief tormentor of Kohli in the dreaded series of 2014.
Anderson managed to trouble a couple of times and Kohli had edged one to the slips, but he was put down. Kohli later managed to overcome the tough period and scored his maiden century on English soil.
“It was difficult, but I told myself that it was important to enjoy this moment and consider a challenge to take the team far and the innings deep. It was a test of physical and mental strength and I’m glad that we could come close to their total and we’re pretty much in the game. When you help the team that way, it obviously feels great,” said Kohli, who praised the lower order batsmen sticking with him.
“I have to laud the tail as well. Hardik batted really well after we were five wickets down. Then, the way Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav applied themselves, I think it was an outstanding effort from them and I have to give a lot of credit to them for getting us this close. They stuck in there, supported me really well and I’m very proud of both of them and happy with the effort,” he said.
When Kohli was asked where he would rate this knock, he said that he would rate it second to the effort in Adelaide in 2014 where he scored 141 and almost pulled off a chase of 364.
“I’m not too sure, but this could come in second to Adelaide. It (Adelaide) still remains very special to me, because it was the second innings and we were chasing a target, wherein I had total clarity that we are going for the target. Not once did I think otherwise. That was a beautiful zone to be in, but today I’m very happy and grateful for having this opportunity to help the team this way and pull us back in the Test and compete. That’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to compete. We’re here to fight and we will continue doing that,” Kohli concluded.