Virat Kohli (Extreme right) believes that it is necessary to give his bowlers confidence © AFP
Virat Kohli (Extreme right) believes that it is necessary to give his bowlers confidence © AFP

Virat Kohli is on a high after registering back-to-back series wins as Test skipper. In his latest interview to bcci.tv, he has not held back in praising his teammates. He however had special praises for Ravichandran Ashwin, who he says that he has always been a champion bowler. “Ashwin has always been a champion bowler. I keep picking his brain on the field. In difficult situations I keep asking him what should be done. He gives me proper insight. As a captain you need a few people like him around. You cannot possibly think of everything at all times. Ashwin, Ajinkya, Ishant, Rohit – I keep speaking to these guys because they think about the game and analyse what’s going on in the field,” he said. READ: Virat Kohli-Ajinkya Rahane partnerships vs South Africa in Delhi Test a lesson for batsmen from both sides

Kohli also spoke about the faith he had in Umesh Yadav, who bowled a magical spell in the final session of the Delhi Test. “The way he bowled so brilliantly, he opened things up for us beautifully with that wicket of Dane Vilas just after tea. I had a discussion with Ravi [Shastri] bhai during the tea break and he said we must try and bowl as many overs as possible by bringing in spin from both ends.”

“But I told him that the ball is reversing and Umesh is bowling with pace, so let me try and bowl him for a few overs as it might just hit the pad or something. And he just turned the whole game around. Those are the small moments when you need to show a little more belief in a particular bowler and push him a little more. In return he will give you the whole game. That’s exactly what Umesh did,” he added. READ: Virat Kohli’s refreshing approach to captaincy has benefitted India

Kohli also stressed on how important it is to give his bowlers the confidence. “It is very important to give confidence to the bowlers. We have told the bowlers that they are the bosses and they will dictate terms in Test cricket. And we want each bowler to think, ‘I am going to win the match for India’. Batsmen will contribute at some stage, but it is up to the bowlers to take responsibility and feel like match-winners.”

He went on, “In all the other teams their bowlers are looked after very well. You can see the captains giving them confidence, knowing that this guy is going to do the job for him. As an opposition batsman you feel like you are getting nothing from that bowler. It feels nice when our bowlers go out there and dominate; bowling with pace or spinning the ball, and troubling the opposition batsman. We want to make it as difficult for other team’s batsmen to score and survive as it is for us.” READ: Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli move up ICC rankings

Kohli expressed disappointment with the fact that the media was not as supportive as they should have been but focused on the negative sides like the pitch. He also said that players, who have never played international have no right to comment on the performances.

“It obviously hurts when people who have played the game themselves make such comments. I am not saying all of them do it. Some of them understand the mindset of the players, having gone through similar situations in their careers. They lend you support, say the right thing and even help you with certain technicalities,” said Kohli.

“But some people like to focus on the negatives. It feels bad as an Indian cricketer. Growing up, you have looked up to these people, and when you hear such comments from them you lose a bit of respect for them. It would be more respectful of them to come up and speak to a player individually if they feel there is some flaw that needs to be corrected. READ: Virat Kohli and Hashim Amla: Contrasting leaders yet similar

And someone who hasn’t played for the country has no right to comment on an international cricketer anyway. I don’t think that has any kind of logic. You cannot sit there and say how you would have done something differently when you have not been in that situation yourself and don’t have the mindset of a cricketer,” he said.