Speaking at the CNN-News18 Indian of the year 2017 awards function, Virat Kohli recounted what he told his teammates in the dressing room the first time he stood in for MS Dhoni as Test captain in 2014.
It was during India’s tour of Australia in 2014, on the fourth day of the Adelaide Test (in which Kohli was standing in as captain for an injured MS Dhoni) when Kohli was required to give his team a pep talk, ahead of a daunting chase on the fifth day. Kohli said, “Whatever target they give us tomorrow, we’re going for it. If there’s any hesitation or anyone wants to oppose it, you tell me right now, or we go to our rooms knowing we’re going to meet the target. So it hurt a lot not to cross the line, but it gave us a lot of confidence as a team that we could win anywhere.”
Remembering the century he scored in the same innings of the match, Kohli said that he rates the ton as one of the most memorable he has ever scored in his career, if not the most memorable. Chasing a target of 364 runs, India lost by 48 runs, but fought till the end of the match with Kohli leading the charge. “There have been so many, but purely in terms of the transition, the second innings hundred at Adelaide where we almost won the Test match…,” he said.
The Australian side registered nine straight consecutive series victories between 2005 and 2008, and the Indian team will aim to equal that record when they take the field against Sri Lanka in the third Test match of their ongoing series. A victory in the Delhi Test, which begins on December 2nd will mean that India would have equaled that record in just two years (2015-2017) as opposed to Australia’s four years.
India’s winning run started with a series victory on the 2015 tour of Sri Lanka. If the Indian team manages to equal Australia’s record, they will have a chance to break it in January, if they also succeed on their tour of South Africa in early 2018.