India’s Test captain Virat Kohli feels there is no need “to take criticisms to heart” about playing visiting South Africans on turning tracks, saying it is the result-oriented pitches that would bring the dwindling crowd back to the ground in the Test format.
Asked if the hat-trick of Test wins under his captaincy has been buried under the controversies surrounding the nature of Mohali track, Kohli gave a straightforward reply.
“It’s only disappointing if you are looking to take what is written or said to heart, or think about it too much. We focus on the process and don’t really think about what’s being written or what’s being said. The fact of the matter is we won a Test match and that’s what we feel good about as a team,” Kohli told reporters on the eve of the second Test starting here tomorrow.
“We are not worried about any external factors or what’s being discussed about things that are not in our control. If someone chooses to say or write about something which they feel is a topic of interest, that’s their choice. It’s up to us if we take it to heart or sit down and feel disappointed. We are not at all disappointed. We won a game of cricket. We are very happy about it,” he added.
The first Test saw lukewarm response from spectators and the captain took a dig at critics stating that it is the result-oriented wickets that makes the crowd throng the ground.
“We should be delighted that we are getting result-oriented wickets because then you will have more people coming in to watch Test matches rather than you know criticising the pitches and saying it is not fair,” the skipper made it clear as to what exactly he felt about critics of rank turners.
For Kohli, the players are focussed so much on the game that other factors become non-issue when the match is on.
“It doesn’t really make us sad that we won’t have so many people turning up to watch this Test match. Obviously, you like playing in front of full stadiums and full crowds but eventually you are focusing on the ball that is bowled to you and as a bowler you are focusing on the ball that you have to bowl. We hope we get more number of people to watch this Test match because it is an exciting series, it is between two exciting and very strong teams.