We want to be ruthless in every game: Virat Kohli
Aiming to seal the series against Sri Lanka after two massive victories, Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said the team is preparing to be ruthless ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
Hyderabad: Aiming to seal the series against Sri Lanka after two massive victories, Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said the team is preparing to be ruthless ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
Team India thrashed the visitors by 169 runs in the first ODI and won the second game by 6 wickets, but Kohli insisted that every game is a challenge.
"We treat every game like a knockout game, so I am not thinking about 2-0. We are making plans for every game and trying to execute those plans. That's the kind of mindset we want to build going into a tournament like the World Cup, where, come the knockout stage, you play one knockout game and you're out," said Kohli on the eve of the third one-dayer here today.
The Men in Blue have literally outplayed the Lankans in every department so far, but Kohli is focused at looking within rather than rejoicing in the opposition's failure.
"It doesn't really matter what the other team is feeling like, what their strengths and weaknesses are, as long as we are focused on what we want to do. If we improve our areas of concern, oppositions should not matter, and that's the kind of culture and belief we are trying to build into this team now.
The more you run away from your own core group, the more pressure you invite," said the top-order batsman.
"It's all about staying closer as a group, and working on our flaws and our strengths, rather than thinking about the other team. If we are so confident in our ability, we should be able to and we should be good enough to handle situations and all kind of bowling attacks in the world. We are taking this series and the tri-series as a chance to really test ourselves and create targets for ourselves," he added.
A confident-looking India are looking to seal the series at Uppal itself and Kohli said the mission has just begun for the World Cup Down Under.
"It's about being ruthless for us, and winning every game. That's the kind of passion all these guys have, it's a matter of bringing it out. We have to keep the team closest to the combination we want to take into the World Cup, and let those guys play their roles better instead of trying to experiment too much at this point of time. It's about finding the perfect combination that we feel 100 per cent sure of going into the World Cup.
"That these are the 11 players who are going to do the job for us. It's about cementing that 100 per cent as of now, rather than experimenting too much with the team. But that will be considered and we will have discussions on that. But what I personally feel is that our focus right now is to get that perfect combination of 11 players right," he said.
India have witnessed three centuries in the two games from Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu but Kohli believes in ironing out the flaws even after the resounding wins.
"It's more important when you're winning, to underline the things that you can improve on, and the things that didn't go right in that particular game. What we are trying to achieve is being ruthless, rather than letting situations be.
In the past it has happened that we have got eight wickets and then let the last two players just get away with it.
"If you want to be ruthless and you want to have big wins, it's very important to address what happened in a convincing win so you can increase the margin of victory the next time around and improve those small areas as well. That's the kind of hunger and vision that we are trying to bring into the team now going into the World Cup. We want to be ruthless, we want to win by big margins; not let any situation sort of pass by and not be casual in any situation," said the Delhi star.
Standing in as skipper after Mahendra Singh Dhoni was rested for the first three ODIs, Kohli lavished praise on Rayudu for his match-winning unbeaten 121 at Ahmedabad.
"He was quite brilliant in the No. 3 slot. It's about recognising the batsmen who can bat through and Rayudu is one of those players, who has a different set of skills to bat the full 50 overs and take the team through. I think it was a great show of temperament, character and class that he possesses.
"This is probably something he should have had ten years ago. So I think he is very hungry to prove himself and all we wanted to do was give him enough time to do that. We all know he is a special player and a special batsman, and we want to build on that and keep him confident.
"A player like him, if he is confident, can face any bowler in any part of the world. He is a gutsy fellow. It's about backing him and making sure he remains in a good, comfortable space," Kohli opined.