Five successful experiments of Virat Kohli in Sri LankaNew Delhi: Team India, after a long wait of 22 years, has finally managed to win a bilateral test series in Sri Lanka. The 3 match test series was crucial in many aspects.Team India's last
New Delhi: Team India, after a long wait of 22 years, has finally managed to win a bilateral test series in Sri Lanka. The 3 match test series was crucial in many aspects.
Team India's last series victory away from home came in 2011 against West Indies. During this period India have lost four successive away series. So what is the difference this time around?
Critics say that the Sri Lankan team was a team in transition as the former greats of Sri Lankan team had hung up their boots. However, same can be said about the Indian team as well. This was first full fledged test series as captain and it was going to be an acid test for the young Indian skipper.
He took some bold decisions during the series that played role in India's win. Here are five experiments of Kohli in the series that bore fruits:
1) The most impressive statistics of India-Sri Lanka series might well be that India used four different openers over three Tests. Three of them succeeded in hitting centuries and the fourth one managed 82. This goes on to show that the players played for the team and not as an individual.
2) Bringing Amit Mishra back in the national team after a gap of four years. Virat Kohli has chosen to bring Amit Mishra in to the team after he saw Pakistan's leg spinner Yasir Shah proving a nightmare for the Sri Lankan players in Sri Lanka just prior to the India's visit to the Island nation. Virat convinced the selectors to pick Mishra who is a specialised bowler in place of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who was not at his best for the past few series.He was not only successful with all but was handy with the bat also.
3) Bringing Stuart Binny in the team in the middle of the series. After the team's shocking loss in the first test at Galle, Virat immediately wanted a medium pacer in his team. Virat understood that the role of a medium pacer is going to be very much crucial on the Sri Lankan pitches and directly brought Binny in the playing eleven. Binny repaid by taking crucial wickets in the first innings of the second Test and also played an excellent cameo in the second innings of the third test when India was setting a target.
4) After the unexpected loss at Galle , Virat was criticised for his 'over aggressive' approach but that did not deter him from following his guts.
Virat said that 'draw' is the last option for him and he will always go for the win. It was clear from the team selection. He opted for five bowlers because it's an established fact that to win a test match a team need to get all twenty wickets of the opposition camp. Virat also backed his players and let their confidence rise so that they can give their best for the team. Virat seems to go by his gut feeling rather than any conventional wisdom.
5) Finally, Virat Kohli seems to be clear about wanting to change the team's culture and start winning overseas. Many a time, it happens that team India came close to winning, but it didn't happen.
Virat wants to instil the killer instinct in every players of team India. Although these are early days of his captainship but surely the improved performance of R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma are indicators that this new Team India will play an aggressive cricket and will make things happen rather than waiting for them to happen .
However the next assignment for Virat is also a tough one as the Proteas will be coming to India who have been successful in drawing their last two series in India.