Not going to start picking on issues, we fail as a team and win as a team, says Kohli

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India lost eight wickets on Saturday morning. (Photo/ ICC twitter)
India lost eight wickets on Saturday morning. (Photo/ ICC twitter)

Headingley [UK], August 28 (ANI): India skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said that his team is not bothered about the outside talk as they have full faith in the skills and ability of number three batter Cheteshwar Pujara.

With the score reading 215/2 at the start of the fourth morning, India would have hoped to continue the remarkable comeback they had started scripting on the third day of the third Test at Leeds on Friday. But it wasn't to be as the England bowlers came out all guns blazing and wrapped the game up in the opening session itself on Saturday to register an innings and 76-run win.

"We are very pleased with how Cheteshwar Pujara batted in this innings, outside noise we do not know what is going on and we don't care. That's none of our business, we know he was playing well and it was just a matter of time before he found his rhythm again. This game has been a kind of aberration in how we have gone in this series, first two games we put ourselves in a position where we won one game, and we had an opportunity to win the first game as well," said Kohli while replying to an ANI query during a virtual post-match conference.

"We analyse ourselves as a team in terms of what situations we are putting ourselves in, not with numbers. That happens on the outside, whether we are helping the team to build partnerships or putting the team in a good position is our only focus and there is no connection between the focus on the outside and the focus within the group," added Kohli, when asked whether middle order has not capitalised on the good, starts given by Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

The Indian innings folded up for 278 as Ollie Robinson (5/65) was on fire from the word go on Saturday. Craig Overton also pitched in with figures of 3/47 and James Anderson picked one to make it 400 wickets on home soil. But the star of the show was Robinson as he put the hosts off to just the start they would have dreamt of as he trapped Pujara in front of wickets.

When asked about the fitness of Ishant Sharma, Kohli said: "I am not watching his run-up, I am standing in the slips so I have to watch the bat of the batsmen. So I am not analysing how he is moving in the field, I think he moved similar to the last game. There were no issues, as a batting group we failed in the first innings. In the second innings, we did a better job. As a bowling group, we accept that we were not consistent enough and that's it."

"I know what happens when we lose one game. I have maintained in the past that we are not going to fall into a space where we start picking on issues. We fail as a team, we win as a team. I do not believe in playing that balance (extra batsman), have never believed in that balance because either you can try to save a defeat or you can try to win the game. We have drawn games in the past with a similar number of batters so if your top six or seven do not do the job, extra batsman gives no guarantee," he added.

When asked whether rotation of pacers can take place in the last two Tests, Virat said: "That's bound to open, it is a logical and sensible thing to do. You do not want to push individuals where they break, that conversation is important. So, we will have that conversation with the individuals and see where they are physically and who needs to have a game off. You cannot expect guys to play four Tests in a row."

Talking about Rishabh Pant's form, Virat said: "As I said, with one loss I cannot start analysing that as a captain. Definitely, the management is not going to start analysing that. We are not failing as a team, consistently we are not losing, I mean that. We failed as a team in this game and we take responsibility for that. Similar conversations were being initiated about Pujara as well which seem to have disappeared after yesterday. We want to give Rishabh all the space to play his game and understand situations. You cannot judge people all the time on numbers, whether they are succeeding or failing, that is not how you build a team."

"There is still time in this series, after that, we can analyse that this was not right. Even in this game, in the second innings, guys got in a good position to play big knocks. When you step out to the field, you do not go out wanting to prove to people that you can play. The reason why we won the second Test was that guys stepped up and did the job for the team," he added. (ANI)

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