Our bowlers make any pitch look good: Kohli

Indore: Indian captain Virat Kohli celebrates after India won by 130 runs against Bangladesh in the first Test of the two-match series at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, Madhya Pradesh on Nov 16, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Indore   Indian captain Virat Kohli was all praise for his pacers as they delivered another Test win for the team on Saturday. India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs at the Holkar Stadium in Indore to take a 1-0 lead in the ongoing two-match Test series between the two sides.

“I don’t really know what to say,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation. “Clinical performances all around. The team is playing really well. I can’t say something which people are not seeing on TV.”

The pace triumvirate of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav led from the front as the bowlers took 20 wickets in a match that lasted just over two and a half days. This was despite India missing Jasprit Bumrah, who has emerged as the team’s strike bowler since his Test debut in early 2018.

“These guys are on top of their game, when they bowl, it looks like any pitch is a good pitch, Jasprit isn’t here but this is a dream combination for any captain. Having strong bowlers is the most important thing in any team. The numbers and records are there for everyone to see, that’ll remain in the books, we haven’t focused on it,” said Kohli.

The 31-year-old said that he was telling Mayank Agarwal to play on throughout the opener’s extraordinary innings to ensure that his personal score gets as big as possible. Agarwal smashed his third century and the second double ton of his nascent Test career and had accumulated 243 runs before being dismissed on Day 2.

“The mindset is simple, when you see a young guy coming in to bat, in Tests I know how much time it took me to get those big hundreds, so I know the importance of getting big runs. It’s important as a senior batter to let them know to keep going. I want them not to make the mistakes I made as a youngster to make them world class cricketers,” he said.

The second Test at Eden Gardens will be the first that India will play with the pink ball. “The pink ball Test is going to be exciting, will be a challenge for the batters. With the older ball, it doesn’t swing that much so the bowlers will have a challenge. We’re just happy to be among the first to play pink ball cricket for India. The crowd has been brilliant, these guys give us the extra motivation to push extra when we’re tired,” Kohli said.