25 July, Antigua
Riding on star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s all-round efforts, India thrashed the West Indies by an innings and 92 runs in the first Test, to notch up their biggest win outside Asia, which skipper Virat Kohli termed as a “complete performance”.
After scoring his career’s third century in the first innings, Ashwin on Monday, tore apart the inexperienced batting line-up of the hosts to return with impressive figures of 7-83 and help the visitors to go 1-0 up in the four-match series.
“Wow, I didnt know that,” Kohli said when told about Indias biggest win.
“Just feels good to get a win on the board, always good to start well. Good prep time, for three weeks. Everyone was excited, we had enough practice. It was a complete performance,” the Delhi right-hander, who scored his maiden double ton in the India’s innings added.
Kohli, who led India to two wins in his first two series as skipper, wants the team to make winning matches a “habit” and focus on consistency, wherever they play.
“We want to create winning habits, good habits. And you know, winning is contagious. If we learn to win Test matches, then we’ll learn how to win Tests everywhere. We will learn how to play in different situations and we will know exactly what to do when a certain situation is going a certain way,” he told reporters in the post-match presser.
“We want to be consistent side, we need to set ourselves goals and look to execute that rather than looking at the opposition which I think this team is willing to do.”
“That for me is a very pleasing thing as a captain and for the team as well. Everyone understands the way we want to play on the field – where we need to bat, how we need to bowl, etc. We need to be comfortable with what the team requires and I think that’s the most important for this team going forward,” he added.
Kohli hailed his bowlers’ attitude, who dominated the West Indian batsmen in both the innings. If the pace duo of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav snared eight scalps among themselves in the first innings, it was an one-man show from Ashwin in the second essay.
“It was a very good effort from the bowlers. The good thing was that we did not bowl that much in the first innings, so everyone’s mindset in the second innings was, yes, we can bowl again. I think the first innings ended at a perfect time for us last evening, and then we got 13-14 overs and got a wicket again,” he said.
“So it was good to get some rest in the evening, and the bowlers’ attitude was very good, all of them voluntarily said, yes, we will bowl, and the spinners took the responsibility.”
“They knew the fast bowlers had done a lot of bowling in the first innings, so we will have to take that responsibility. Ashwin obviously bowled very well, and Mishra also bowled very well but didn’t get (many) wickets.
“But both kept the pressure on, and we talk about partnership bowling – that was a classic example, that the spinners didn’t have to bowl that much in the first innings, but took the responsibility from the fast bowlers in the second innings, and did the job fully.
“All in all, as a bowling unit, it was good execution, and the bowlers will be quite pleased with their performance, and as a captain I am pleased too,” he added.
Calling it a great start for new coach Anil Kumble’s tenure with the team, Kohli said Kumble was happy with the way the team executed the plans during the match.
“Having played for so long I think he (Kumble) understands how the players feel about a victory. He congratulated everyone and gave special mention to the guys who made important contributions in the game.
“It might not be seen too much but those important breakthroughs and moments are very crucial for the team to win. He understands that very nicely and he was obviously very happy with the victory. It’s a great start for him – first game as coach and we end up winning by an innings. We are very happy all round,” said Kohli.