Kohli’s prudence: Too early to compare us with Windies of ’70s

Kohli receives special gift ahead of Guwahati T20I

India on Sunday became the first team ever to complete four successive innings victories in the five-day format, further extending their purple patch as they trampled Bangladesh in their maiden pink ball Test here, but skipper Virat Kohli feels they are not in the same league as the West Indies side of the seventies.

India thrashed Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in the second Test, which was a Day-Night affair, to complete a 2-0 series whitewash after winning the first match in Indore by an innings and 130 runs.

This was India’s 12th consecutive home series victory and seventh successive Test win since winning against the West Indies in Antigua in August.

The Windies’ domination over world cricket stretched from the mid seventies to late ’80s.

Asked about the dream run, Kohli said the question should be posed after seven years, and not just seven games.

“I can only say we are at the top of our game. You can’t judge a team’s dominance with seven games. You’re talking about a West Indies side which did it for 15 years,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.

“You can ask me this question when we all are close to retiring. How the decade has gone playing together… Not after seven games. Seven years yes, but not seven games,” the skipper said with a smile.

Kohli said the mindset has changed, as they now know that they can beat any team in the world.

“I think there is still time (to compare). But we are quite excited about the way we are playing and what the challenges are. Going forward, we will play in New Zealand now. The frame of mind is to get to the next series in Test cricket. It’s not like we are finished playing at home… Let’s see what happens abroad.

“We are waiting to play Test cricket. That mindset has changed. Now we know if we play well, we can win anywhere in the world. That’s a very nice and exciting feeling to have within the changing room,” Kohli said.

After playing seven matches, India have 360 points in the World Test Championship and sit pretty at the top of the nine-team table. Kohli, though, felt the balance can only be struck if the one home-one away series rule is implemented.

“A more balanced format would be one series at home, one away. As I said, we are playing very good cricket, but we played only two Tests away in the World Test Championship.

“We saw the level of cricket in the Ashes. Pakistan’s playing in Australia… It’s very difficult to judge a team. You can praise our team on our performance, but to say we are dominating like no other team is a very subjective thing to think of,” Kohli said.

“If we played two series at home and two away and had 300 points, then you could have said that we are playing really well. We are playing good cricket, but there should not be tags attached to any team. In World Test Championship, even if we make the final there is only one game,” the centurion at Eden Gardens said.

Kohli also reiterated his stance on playing pink ball Test in Australia, where they play a full series in 2020-21. He said provided they get enough practice games, they are open to doing “anything.”

“There has to be planning for pink-ball games. We played on home conditions. You ask Bangladesh and they’d have liked a practice game before this match. Just because we knew the conditions and our bowlers are bowling so well, we don’t really feel the challenge… When we play away from home, we’d figure out what could be even more difficult playing with the pink ball.

“A good practice game before that and enough time to prepare, and we’re open to anything. You can’t just play it on a short notice. If we get enough time to prepare, we’re willing to do anything. We’ll be quite open to it I guess,” the skipper signed off.