Excited about leading team in first full series: Kohli

Galle: India skipper Virat Kohli today said he is excited at the prospect of leading the team in his first full series as captain and would like to create the right momentum when they clash against Sri Lanka in the first Test here tomorrow.

“It is my first full series. It’s a great opportunity to create some momentum knowing it’s a three-Test series, having some plan in mind, having the opportunity and time to execute them,” said Kohli at the pre-match press conference.

“Even if it’s an off day, you still have time to re-group and think about what went wrong. If it’s a good day you can learn from it, the positives and the areas that need improvement. As a captain you always need more time with the team, more games to play and better chances of creating an environment that you require the team to be in. So I am very excited. It’s an opportunity not only for me but all of us for a new Indian team. We are all pretty early in our careers and it’s exciting,” he added.

India haven’t won a Test series in Sri Lanka since 1993 when they won the three-match rubber 1-0. But the visiting team’s record hasn’t been too impressive.

“I have been reminded of that quite a few times and I know that now,” he said, about India’s poor record.

India’s preparations, however, suffered a blow as their pre-match practice session was washed out owing to heavy rains, and even on Monday, their session had been disturbed by the rain, leaving the three-day tour match in Colombo as the only proper workout before this first Test.

But Kohli doesn’t seem to be too worried about it.

“It’s probably a good thing,” said Kohli. “We have had five-six days of really good practice. Even yesterday, with whatever time we had at the nets, the intensity was up there and the guys prepared really well. The day before the game is always a light session. If someone wants to bowl or have a hit, they can. But unfortunately it rained. But I think we have got decent enough practice going into the Test. The guys are looking in good shape and everyone is mentally fresh.

“So it’s not going to make much difference. I see it as a positive where people will have the time to visualise, relax and prepare for the game with the mental aspect than putting those extra hours in practice.