Fitter, successful Kohli embarks on third Test tour of England
New Delhi, June 3, 2021
India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday embarked on his third tour of England as India's most successful Test captain and one of the four best Test batsmen in contemporary cricket, a far cry from the batsman who struggled against swing bowling on his first tour there in 2014.
Kohli was a complete failure during his first tour of England in 2014, aggregating 134 runs across 10 innings at an average of 13.4.
He returned four years later a much more successful batsman, topping the batting charts in the bilateral series with 593 runs across 10 innings at an average of 59.3.
He reaches England on Thursday as an accomplished leader too with a series win in Australia under his belt.
The 32-year-old Kohli has led India to 36 wins in 60 Tests as captain. The number of Test wins he has led India to are the most by an India captain.
"Firstly I am four years older (sic). That is one difference," Kohli told Indian media prior to departure on being asked the difference in Kohli of today and the one who toured England in 2014.
"But apart from that I don't think the mindset has changed at all. The mindset was always to go there and perform for my team. I had a chance to lead in 2018 and contrary to the kind of acceptance on the outside, we understand the kind of cricket we played there," he added referring to the criticism Indian team faced after losing the 2018 series 1-4 in England.
Kohli said though India lost the 2018 series 1-4, they were never outplayed.
"We were never outplayed barring the Test at Lord's. So, I only see it as an evolution of my position in the team. The [year] 2018 was the start for us to really go out there and perform away from home. We did well before Australia (2018-19 series win) happened."
Coach Ravi Shastri said Kohli has become fitter since his 2014 trip and has gained in experience.
"Kohli of 2014 and now is slimmer and fitter. He is captain of the side and India's most successful captain and he is only five and a half thousand runs richer," Shastri told media.