India’s Test captain Virat Kohli hit back at Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh’s tweet after India claimed a 321-run victory over the Blackcaps in the third Test at the Holkar Cricket Stadium and sealed a 3-0 series victory.
Courtesy of their 3-0 clean sweep, India regained the No.1 spot in the ICC Test Rankings and were presented the ICC Test Championship Mace by legendary Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar after the Test. But while the players were in euphoric mood, Kohli spoke about the win and also Harbhajan's recent tweet about the spin-friendly pitches that have helped Ravichandran Ashwin claim plenty of wickets.
Although the off-spinner who is currently playing in the Ranji Trophy congratulated India on their 3-0 series win, he had just yesterday spoken about the pitches that Ashwin has been playing on and hinted that his tally of wickets and that of Anil Kumble would be very different if they played on the same kind of wickets.
Only 2 in my 103 tests.. Kumble and my test wicket count would have been something else if we got wickets like last 4 years we playing on https://t.co/fvkdVw1I1v— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) October 9, 2016
Kohli’s response to Harbhajan
Ravichandran Ashwin was the star of the show once again as he picked up his career-best haul of 7/59 in New Zealand’s second innings and helped India wrap up the game inside four days as he finished the match with 13 wickets.
When asked about Harbhajan Singh’s recent tweet about the kind of pitches offered to Ravichandran Ashwin, Kohli was not very pleased.
"Even if it is a turning pitch, you have to bowl well. Spin is just not something to happen only off the pitch. It depends on how many revs (revolutions) you give to the ball and the use of the shoulder. When we lost to New Zealand in the World Cup, I quite clearly remember, suddenly their spinners were quality bowlers and we were found out! I don't see anyone talking about it now," Kohli said.
"The same (New Zealand) spinners had played (in this series). Why did not they pick up wickets? It's as simple as that. Our fast bowlers (also) picked up wickets everywhere. Give a guy a cement track to bat on. He should have a mindset to do so. It's as simple as that. That's all I am going to sum up," he added.
Speaking after claiming the ICC Test Championship mace, which was given by member of ICC Hall of Fame, Kohli was keen to highlight that the emphasis was on skill rather than the conditions that they played on and admitted that they taken the necessary steps to do the same.
"That's the right step we have taken. We believe in our skill and not believe in creating conditions or atmosphere which might suit us partially. We wanted to express ourselves. We finished two games in four days and that gives us a lot of confidence," said.
He also added that the intent was to play positive cricket and give the bowlers a chance to express themselves.
"We try to play positive cricket in the second innings and try to give the bowlers as much enough overs to bowl, and secondly enough runs to keep expressing themselves and not set defensive fields," Kohli said. "This was a situation where we batted them out of the game. We could express ourselves best and give our bowlers time to bowl out the opposition. The last two Tests played out nicely for us and that's why we could finish both the games in four days.”