RAJKOT: Indian skipper Virat Kohli insisted he would not haunted by past failures against England when battle resumes on Wednesday, and said he was now a better player than during a nightmare tour two years ago.
India’s Test captain is in the form of his life after hitting two double centuries in the last six months. But he has a dismal record against England, scoring just 322 runs in 17 Test match innings.
When India toured England in 2014, Kohli averaged just 13 as India lost the series 3-1 in what was the low point of an outstanding career.
But speaking on the eve of the start of a five-Test home series, Kohli said his struggle last time round had helped him improve as a batsman and neither he nor his teammates would dwell on the past.
“It was a phase when I did not perform too well,” Kohli said.
“It was England but it could have been any other country in the world. It made me realise that I need to up my game.
“I am thankful to England as I have been a very improved cricketer from thereon. I just take it (that phase) as a setback in my career.”
Kohli was not the only Indian to struggle in England, with the team’s main spin bowler Ravichandran Ashwin taking just three wickets. But he is expected to be a different proposition back home.
“What’s in the past we can’t go back and change. We look forward to what we can do in the future, that is to play good cricket and express our skills to the best of our potential and play as a team,” said Kohli.
“As a team we treat every day as a new day, we treat every opposition the same way.”
Kohli meanwhile said his team should have no problem adapting to the umpire decision review system (DRS) which India are using for the first time in a home series.
While the other nine Test teams have been using DRS for years, the world’s number one Test side had resisted the technology over doubts about its reliability, sparked by a frustrating trial run in 2008.
After technological upgrades to the system, India have now agreed to use DRS for the England series which begins in the western city of Rajkot.
“Well, there is no rocket science on DRS,” Kohli said.
“As a cricketer you have a fair idea of whether the ball has hit the pad, whether it has pitched in line or hit in line.
“I think we have observed enough watching on TV how DRS is used… it’s pretty simple. It’s nothing that we are focusing too much on.”
Compared to India, England are well versed with the technology, particularly after 42 decisions were reviewed during their two-Test series last month against Bangladesh.