Two years ago, Virat Kohli began his reign as India’s test captain against Sri Lanka. The Kohli that we saw in 2015 is not a whole lot different from the one that we are seeing right now. The beard has more white hair and the critics have swelled in number, but the champion batsman remains as defiant as ever.
After an immensely successful test season at home, India suffered a major setback when they lost to Pakistan in the Champions trophy final.
Kohli himself had to face a lot of criticism over his batting performance, particularly in the final.
And then came the media circus around the head coach. According to reports, Kohli was one of the main protagonists behind the ousting of Anil Kumble as the coach.
The fact that Ravi Shastri, who is a famous supporter of Kohli, has been appointed as the new coach makes Kohli look even more guilty.
Speaking to the press, Kohli was defiant and spoke glowingly about his team ahead of the series. He also spoke of the openers that he has at his disposal.
“Injuries are an unfortunate part of sport, any sport in the world,” Kohli said.
“Vijay was back with his rehab, but he played a game and he felt he wasn’t up there and that’s credit to him for conveying it to the selectors and being honest in telling us that he wouldn’t be able to be match fit because there’s a lot riding on a Test match.
“Abhinav has done really well in domestic cricket. Shikhar, when he came here last time, he got a hundred as well. Then he had to miss a couple of games.
[Cheteshwar] Pujara opened in the last Test in the last series that we played here. So guys have started seeing such scenarios as opportunities and not as pressure scenario because now they feel privileged and they want to have any opportunity to play for the country and everyone wants to make a mark.
No one wants to sit on the sidelines and watch other people go on with their business. I’m sure these guys are hungry
“And Shikhar’s coming back as well after being left out of the Test squad. He’s done really well in the Champions Trophy, he’s batting beautifully. Abhinav is very solid in his technique and Rahul, obviously, has been a champion opener for us.
So all these guys are coming back really hungry because we haven’t played any Test cricket after February.”