India vs Australia: Virat Kohli says his men not motivated by history ahead of SCG Test

first_imgIndia are on the cusp of their first Test series victory in Australia but skipper Virat Kohli made it clear his men were not motivated by history ahead of the New Year’s Test which starts at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.India lead the four-match series 2-1 with victories in Adelaide and Melbourne. On Sunday, India sealed their first ever Boxing Day Test in history and Australia, struggling without Steve Smith and David Warner, will be hard pressed to stop India from winning the series.However, Kohli said his team wanted to focus on the present and do everything in their control. Indian teams have stressed on the need to do processes right and it now seems things are coming together for Kohli’s side after a string of overseas Test defeats.India began 2018 with a 1-2 series defeat in South Africa before losing 1-4 in England. However, against a depleted Australian team down under, India have been dominant with bat and ball. Besides, after the debacle in Perth where they went in without a single spinner on a green pitch. As it turned out, Australia’s off-spinner Nathan Lyon picked eight wickets to win the man-of-the-match award.On the eve of the SCG Test, Kohli urged his men to understand the importance of the match and what is at stake.”If you ask me very honestly, no. Because what is gone is not in our control and what is to come is something that we need to think about. We need to stay in the present and focus on things that we can do, the controllables, we need to figure out what the controllables are and focus on them,” Kohli told the media on Wednesday.advertisement”The reason why we want to win this Test is because we understand as cricketers how difficult it is to come here and play. As I said at the high tea yesterday, it is not the team that you are playing against, the whole nation because they get behind the team so well. And when you walk into bat you feel like 40,000 people want your wicket, not just the eleven guys on the field, so we understand as cricketers how difficult it is and purely just to take that challenge on, we want to win here. And it has nothing to do with proving that we have done something that which haven’t been done in the past.”Every team that comes here wants to win, obviously. So I’m sure that they would have had the same intention, but the motivation has never been to change history.”It’s only been to overcome the challenge that is in front of you, as a sportsman and as a cricketer, you can ask anyone, that’s the most important thing, that’s something you look forward to, not necessarily proving something to someone or changing history, just crossing a hurdle and making your self believe that you are good enough to be at this level and beat any team anywhere in the world and that’s the most important thing,” Kohli said.Meanwhile, India will be without Rohit Sharma for the fourth and final Test as he returned home following the birth of his child. It looks like SCG will offer a turning pitch but there is a cloud over R Ashwin’s availability.Ashwin was named in the 13-man squad for the SCG Test but a final call on his availability will be taken on Thursday.Kohli said Ashwin is crucial to India’s plans in Test cricket and added the off-spinner was very disappointed with his current status.”Well, it is unfortunate that he has had two niggles that are quite similar in the last couple of away tours. That is something obviously him more than anyone else will be focussed to correct. The physio and trainer have spoken to him in terms of what is required, in order to get over that injury. He is very important for sure. In Test cricket, he is a vital part of this team and we want him to be hundred per cent fit and for a longer period, so that he can contribute more to us in the test format, as you mentioned.”He is very disappointed with the fact that he is not able to recover in time. But the things have been laid out to him, to get back to full fitness and honestly you can’t predict an injury, only when it happens you can manage it and he is doing what he can to get over that injury.”advertisementAlso Read | Ishant out injured, Kuldeep named in 13-man squadAlso Read | Australia delay announcing playing XI for SCG TestAlso Watch | Fans in Sydney enamoured with Virat Kohli ahead of New Year’s TestAlso Watch | Dog agrees with Virat Kohli as India captain says: No pressure in SydneyAlso Watch | Virat Kohli’s press conference in Sydneylast_img

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