Play to Win is the New Mantra for Team India
With a new Test Captain, the Indian Team is headed for a new beginning when they head to Bangladesh on Monday (June 8). Virat Kohli may be a greenhorn when captaincy is concerned but he has stamped his authority on the dressing room with a clear message that the aim is to produce results.
The Indian Test team might have won just 1 of their last 13 Tests abroad, but the current team, with a new regular Test captain at the helm of affairs is ready to begin a new chapter. Assignment No.1 is the one-off Test vs Bangladesh
At a press conference in Kolkata on Sunday, Virat Kohli said, "It is not only about learning while playing the games, we want to get the wins for India. We know what we want as a a team and a unit as a whole. It is just about getting into the right mental frame. It's not about individual performances, it's the team performance as a whole. If someone has a good performance, it's just an added bonus for the team but our main goal remains to get the win as a team and for India."
Virat's win at all costs attitude was evident when India pushed for a win in the Adelaide Test vs Australia in January this year
With five wickets down and 87 runs still needed, most teams would play for a draw, but the team, under Virat's captaincy didn't.
Virat was both praised and criticised for his no holds-barred attitude. He later said he had learnt a lot from the first Test that he captained.Now, his team-mates seem to be on the same page as their aggressive captain. Play to win seems to be the new mantra, regardless of venue or opposition.
"We have toured England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand and we have learnt a lot from those tours. Those tours were very handy for the team in terms of gaining experience and learning how we can dominate tests. Which is why we will not take this one Test match lightly and we will perform well," says Ajinkya Rahane
This time around Virat will also have a tried and tested performer in Harbhajan Singh, who will be eager to show that he still has what it takes to perform at the international stage at the age of 34 and lead India's spin attack.
Harbhajan still has the fire in is belly. When asked if he was looking ahead to forging a partnership with R Ashwin, the Punjab spinner quipped, "Whenever I have played with Anil bhai, Zaheer Khan or others, our motive was to win games for IndiaÂ and that doesn't change. If I'm playing now with R Ashwin or Karn Sharma, the basic motive does not change. I would still go out to win games for India." Â
The change in captaincy has had a definite impact on the Indian dressing room. It is young , energetic and willing to go the distance. Virat Kohli promises them the freedom to express themselves but what also asks for a shift in gear,"Small changes are being made in the attitude of players and in fitness levels too. Everyone should feel as though they have the same authority in the team and everyone should want to make major contributions to the team, not just small contributions, and these small changes that are being made."
That Virat Kohli doesn't mind going all out to produce favourable results for the team is no secret. The same routine is expected against Bangladesh, with winning being priority number 1. This clashÂ might not be a very tough assignment for Team India, but it will be a dry run for the tougher tests to come later this year against Sri Lanka and South Africa, the ones that will truly Test Kohli the captain.