PUNE: India cricket captain Virat Kohli sounded confident as he on Wednesday said that his side is not bothered about Australia and is instead focussed on delivering up to its potential in the four-match Test series, starting here on Thursday.
India come into the series after a successful home campaign which has seen them thrashing New Zealand (3-0), England (4-0) and Bangladesh (one-off Test).
Moreover, India are unbeaten since 2012 at home — winning 17 Test matches and having drawn three.
Now, with Australia set to begin the challenging tour, captain Kohli said that India need to focus on their game and not be worried about the form and combination of the visiting side.
“Every match, every series is challenging. All the teams we played are good quality teams and Australia is not different. We don’t rate anyone series higher or lower than the other. We are not treating Australia differently. Every opposition has to be respected on equal terms,” Kohli said at the pre-match media conference.
“We are not worried about opposition’s combination. We are comfortable what we want to do. We are aware of their skills, positives and negatives. We have done certain preparations. We tend to focus on our game. We respect every team but we focus on our skills and qualities,” the premier batsman added.
“England was a top quality side and in the first match at Rajkot which we drew and that gave us a lot of confidence to turn it around. So, now everyone is feeling confident and we are in a good space as a team and not bothered about the opponent too much.”
Kohli, who has won over many fans as a batsman and a captain alike in the last few years, however, felt that a captain is just as good as his team.
“Captaincy will only be as good as the team performs and how the consistent the players are. If players are not playing up to their potential, not much I can do as captain,” the 28-year-old said.
“I don’t judge myself after every series. Priority and the only goal that we have is to win games of cricket. The more the team becomes mature, the captain starts looking good. If the team doesn’t do well, the captaincy bit seems out of control.”
Kohlim said, “Maybe five to eight years down the line, I will be able to judge myself as a captain if I remain captain for that long. I feel personally it’s too early for me to sit down and judge what I have done well or haven’t.”
However, he asserted that captaincy comes with a sense of responsibility which has helped him evolving as a batsman as well.
“Captaincy does not allow you to be complacent at any stage, especially with the bat if that is your only discipline in the game, in the field as well. In that aspect, I think complacency goes out the window as captain,” he reasoned.
“You tend to focus a lot more on certain situations which you might or might not without the extra responsibility on your shoulders and may play a loose shot.”