Good to be back into the groove, says Kohli
Galle, Sri Lanka- Away Test wins rarely come any easier than the one for India in Galle on Saturday as it recorded its biggest away win on the fourth evening of the first Test.
It was a near-perfect Test for India but victorious captain Virat Kohli still identified areas of improvement to target.
"There are still some areas that we want to look back and try to improve upon; especially when you get four-five wickets and not letting the lower order to get away with the few runs in the later half of the innings," Kohli said. "It's something that we can still identify and work on in the next two games as well.
"But all in all, I think, playing Test cricket - February [the Australia series ended in March] is when we last played Test cricket - and from then, having played so much one-day cricket and not having the time to prepare so much in between… I think from that point of view it was good to get back into the groove and do things that are supposed to be done to win a Test match."
Amid this glut of one-day cricket, it was easy to forget what a poor series Kohli had the last time he played Tests, against Australia. "I wasn't looking at things from that point of view," he said. "I think people on the outside start counting the number of innings when a batsman doesn't score well, but for us as batsman or anyone playing in the XI, it's all about what the team wants at that particular situation. And you end up scoring runs as well plus you end up helping team also.
"I think the second innings required us to play more positively, and I am glad I was able to do that along with Abhinav [Mukund] to get us enough time to get the opposition out and enough runs on the board for us to feel comfortable. Yeah, I wasn't certainly looking at things like how many innings I haven't scored because when you are playing all formats, you don't think which format you have not scored runs in how many innings. You can't utilise so much energy in that."
Energy in Galle was utilised in taking wickets because the pitch was really flat. "The last time when we played here the surface offered much more to the bowlers," Kohli said.
"It kept the bowlers in the game throughout, the quicks and the spinners more so. This time around the wicket was really good to bat on even till today. I mean if you applied yourself, you could easily score runs on that surface.
"So, yeah, we had to work hard for getting all the wickets that we did. I think the bowlers came up with different plans, persisted with them long enough to get those breakthroughs and that's something that always helps at the beginning of a series, to get a victory on a surface which is not offering much."