India skipper Virat Kohli welcomed week–long break between third and fourth Test which he feels benefitted the squad but also made it clear that the foot is firmly on the pedal as they are inching towards a much deserved series victory.
“We did not ask for the gap. It was part of the schedule, so we make sure when we go there (England) that we have eight days’ gap after three Tests, and a 25-day gap between One- Day and Test series,” said Kohli, when asked about the mid-series break.
“With a long season ahead, it (break) did us no harm. It actually helped us rest a bit, reflect on what we have done in the two games that we have won and just visualise again and come back even more fresh compared to last two Test matches. It was good thing that happened and we certainly benefitted from it.”
Asked how necessary was it to meet friends, family in the game, Virat said:”It is much needed, because when you go home in the break, honestly between the series, you cannot switch off because there is this thing in the mind you keep visualising in the day what to do in the match.
“As a captain, you ponder on what combinations to play, how will be the wicket, but not too much. It is also necessary that you move away from your profession and enjoy life and this is a very important thing.”
Kohli also spoke about popular perceptions. “A lot of time this thing is seen from a different perspective in our country.
No you have to think about cricket. But as an individual, I have to take a decision as to how much of mental stress is on me, how much time I move away from the game and at what time I have to come back and focus on my game. Because your performance is in your hands.
“At this level, everyone is a professional cricketer, they understand this thing very well. So when they came back (to Mumbai), they were looking forward to the practise. That is necessary thing, this can only happen when one comes back mentally refreshed and then you are again excited to practise those skills. I think, as I have said this a good that, that we got a few days break,” the skipper explained.
Asked if the break will rob India’s momentum, Kohli quipped, “No”.