India captain Virat Kohli slammed the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday for rating the pitch of the third Test against South Africa in Nagpur “poor”. India won that match.
The pitches during the ongoing series have attracted a lot of controversy, as all three Tests have seen rank turners with prodigious turn and unpredictable bounce right from the start. India won the first and third Tests with both matches being over within three days.
But Kohli pointed out that pitches in South Africa also favour the bowlers, with visiting teams to that country being dismissed for less than 100 runs on six occasions.
“There have been three scores of under 50 runs in South Africa but I haven’t seen any sort of articles on that. Teams have been bundled out under 100 for about six times in South Africa. Never saw any articles written on that. Articles are there to be written. It’s a mindset or an opinion of someone. I don’t relate to it, I don’t understand it and I certainly don’t entertain it. It doesn’t bother me or the team,” Kohli told reporters in Delhi on Wednesday, on the eve of the fourth and final Test.
“People can write about their opinions as and how they wish. It is totally on us to do what we do best,” he said. “I do not not see any kind of problems with any wicket that we play on.”
The Delhi lad also pointed out that the first ever pink ball Test between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide recently was dominated by the pacers with the former winning the game on the third day.
“I don’t think anyone has written an article about Adelaide Test which finished in two and a half days. So I don’t see anything wrong in our pitches,” Kohli said.
“Yes, I am talking about anyone (including the ICC). I am not only talking about people writing articles in general. It’s an assessment that happens in every condition and at every ground. Unfortunately, the situation in our country is highlighted a bit too much and that’s a fact. Because only thing we talk about is the pitch and when we were in South Africa, the only thing we talked about is how badly we played.
“Its been going on for a while. There has been no change in the pattern. The Indian team is certainly going into a new mindset and changing their thinking. But I don’t think that the mindset of those around us has changed — because when we don’t play well then we are criticised for our techniques and when visitors don’t play well it is always the wicket,” he fumed.
The 27-year-old also urged the Indian media and fans to support the players when they perform well.
“When the team wins the players need to be supported. But in India people always try to find things to criticise. I cannot understand the logic,” Kohli lamented.
Kohli also asserted that he was looking forward to the challenge of leading the Indian team on his home ground Ferozeshah Kotla for the first time.
“I am always ready for the challenge. Captaincy in fact, motivates me more to go out there and give better performances. I become extra motivated to do well for the team because if I am the captain I need to set an example first and then expect my team to be on the same page,” he said. “I like that responsibility. Captaincy makes my motivation even stronger.”