Kanpur: India's skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday sounded extremely confident going into the 1st Test against New Zealand in Kanpur.
With series wins against Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies already under his belt, the 27-year-old is keen to deliver a clinical show against the Kiwis.
The Delhi batsman spoke to the media on a variety of issues including his team's poor display against spinners and strategy for the three-match Test series.
Here are six important quotes from Kohli's pre-match press conference:
On India's frailties against spin: I think it's not a concern. It is an area where we can improve.The team wants to improve on that aspect of the game, something we surely needs to get strong. So much was build up (in media). We countered conditions really well away from home -- England, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, we focused on pace, so we didn't pay that much attention on spin. That was one area where we feel that we could have worked or should have worked more.
On work behind the scenes: Now we are putting in more efforts to bat against the spinners longer. We are practicing the small little things. We are covering all bases because if you want to be a champion side, you don't want to give the opposition any window to get into the game and that's an area that needs to be worked on through the course of this season. Good thing is that we are playing a lot of Test cricket.
On current Indian Test side: We believe we certainly have what it takes to be the best in the world. One area where we have tapped into is belief. Lot of young players coming into can lack belief, there could be a lot of insecurities, whether I'll play in the next game or whether my position is settled or not. So, it's all about getting rid of all those feelings. When you step into the pitch, you need to tell yourself that I own this position for next 10 years for India in Tests, that's how you can be confident and stress-free.
On opponents New Zealand: We expect very good competition and hard fought cricket. They are a side that does not give up. They have pretty skillful players in their ranks, we are wary of that but we are aware of our strengths as well. Both need to focus on their strengths and don't hand the advantage to other teams. They are a pretty good side, they play good positive cricket. We have seen in the last couple of years.
On the current season: This season is a phase where we can lay the foundation where the Indian Test team will go. We have started off pretty well. The challenge in last one year or so has been to show composure and get the victories, that we require and we have been able to get that. Of course, this season will be a career defining for all those in this squad, because hardly we have played 17 Test matches regularly. That's one thing we are happy about that we can plan our Test cricket, and test ourselves and get those wins whenever the chance comes. Very exciting times ahead."
On India's strategy: I think you can't go with one set of combination or one track mind, it's not logical in the longer run. You become predictable. You have to field the bowlers depending on the condition. We have to assess the workload on bowlers.
(With PTI inputs)