Tuesday, August 25, marked the 50th anniversary – golden jubilee – of India winning their first-ever Test series in England. It is also the eve of India’s third Test against England, which if they win will ensure that they won’t lose the series.
“Honestly, I don’t think much about history. For us, what matters as a team is that wherever we play in the world, what matters are the decisions that we take at that moment. We don’t want to chase anything, or remember anything,” said Kohli to the media in a bid to keep his focus on the ongoing series.
Exactly half a century ago, on August 24 which was the fifth and final day of the third and final Test at The Oval, Ajit Wadekar-led Indian team had defeated England by four wickets. The first two Tests were drawn, so the win in the third Test sealed for India their first-ever Test series win in England.
Kohli said that history doesn’t assure anything to the team.
“History doesn’t guarantee you anything. If you haven’t won anything anywhere, you can’t guarantee that you will not win there. And if you have won anywhere, there is no guarantee that you won’t lose,” added Kohli.
“As a team, we know what our processes are and what processes we have to follow. We prepare for that only. That depends on your mindset [being] in the present moment. We have to focus on that only. The rest of the things look good to hear and speak. You have to focus only on things in front of you. You have to take the best decision in that moment, which is what we try to do,” said Kohli further.
“As a team, our job as a team is this only and we don’t think much before that or after that.”
Neither did Kohli show concern about India playing at Headingley after a gap of 19 years and the fact that none of the current players are yet to play Test at the venue.
In an age when current Indian cricketers have toured venues in Australia, England, New Zealand, and South Africa multiple times, Headingley remains an aberration.
“We haven’t played Test cricket here. If I am not wrong, I don’t quite recollect all the games at venues, but all of us are playing Test cricket for the first time here,” said Kohli further.
“Look, I am not an individual who likes to attach too much importance to things that are on the outside. For us, it is just a Test match to be played against England. Be it any stadium, anywhere in the world, in India, or in England. So we just need to do what we need to do as a team. What’s happened here, what hasn’t is something that we are not focused on at all. Because all our energy is just focused on what we want to do as a team over the next five days,” said the India skipper.