If Nottingham was hard work, Southampton is going to be even harder: Virat Kohli
Under Kohli, India have lost successive Test series in South Africa and Australia. @Getty

A stunning victory at Trent Bridge last week has given India, the No 1 ranked side in Test cricket, the opportunity to become only the second team in history to win a five-Test series from 0-2 down. For Virat Kohli, India’s talismanic captain with 440 runs in three Tests so far, the significance of the fourth Test against England at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl was not lost as he sat down to face the media on match eve.

Four years ago, MS Dhoni’s Indian team landed at Southampton with a 1-0 lead after a draw at Trent Bridge and an epic win at Lord’s, but were hammered by England at Ageas Bowl and then went on to lose the fourth and fifth Tests, thus losing the series 1-3. For Kohli, a member of that squad from 2014, matters were different this time around.

“Last time around I can’t really pinpoint as to what we did wrong or maybe England played much better than us,” Kohli told reporters on Wednesday. “We probably didn’t have the experience to capitalise on the lead is how I see things four years down the line. Right now, we understand that we are in a very exciting position to have gained momentum at the right time in the series and to have played like that when two-nil down, when everyone thought it is going to be a clean sweep (for England) or we are going to be rolled over.”

The only team in Test history to come back from 0-2 is Don Bradman’s Australia, against England in 1936/37. For Kohli, keeping the series alive with a 203-run win in the third Test was a massive achievement, but he was fully aware of what lies ahead as India look to force a decider in London.

“It was just about capitalising on the big moments during the Test match,” said Kohli of his side’s success at Trent Bridge. “As cricketers we understand when a Test match goes away from you and we spoke about recognising that and making sure that we are relentless and ruthless in terms of capitalising on those important moments which we did in Nottingham. If Nottingham was hard work this is going to be even harder. England will want to come back strongly. We understand that and we will have to be even better (than at Trent Bridge).”