Nottingham: Virat Kohli has described England as one of the toughest venues for sub-continental teams, but said that Team India are focussed on putting up a strong performance in the five-Test series to start the transition of the young team to a good quality side.
The opening Test begins on Wednesday, here, as both teams started their preparations at Trent Bridge on Tuesday. “This tour is right up there with South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I would say these are the four places where sub-continental players do want to perform well. I too have that in my mind,” said Kohli.
“It is a pretty special place to play cricket and I’ll be playing a Test at Lord’s for the first time. So all in all, it is a very exciting tour for me personally, because I have never played Test cricket here before and I am really looking forward to it.
“I have some goals which I want to achieve, and I have been thinking about them. I am pretty excited about playing here.”
India have not done too well against England in their recent Test encounters. They lost the 2012-13 home series by a 1-2 margin and prior to that, had suffered a humiliating 0-4 whitewash in the summer of 2011.
It might appear to be a big burden, but Kohli disagreed. “We haven’t spoken about what we did wrong in that series (2011). We’ve spoken about the positives we could take out of it. That was a different time. Three years down the line, we have a totally new side. Most of us haven’t played Test cricket here,” he said.
“It’ll be exciting for us to experience the conditions and everyone’s eager to go out there and see what it’s like. You get full crowds, everyone’s involved in the game and everyone knows the game.”
England all-rounder Stuart Broad, meanwhile, said that his team’s fantastic record at Trent Bridge would see them go into the first Test with an advantage over India. “Out of the last seven Tests here, I think we have won five… So we have a good record. James Anderson’s record here is brilliant and Ian Bell has got some 500 runs here in the last four innings or something. This gives us confidence,” Broad said.
Broad was also all praise for captain Alastair Cook. “As far as captaincy goes, he has always been someone who goes back to his farm and shuts off, so criticism isn’t much of a problem.