'We are trying to turn things around'
India may have suffered a humiliating 0-4 loss to England in the Test series, but Virat Kohli says there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Instead, the team, he feels, will now be able to play with out any pressure.
"There is no embarrassment. We didn't play good cricket and were beaten fair and square. If you play so much, this kind of phase happens. How you come back and fight is important. We are working hard and trying to turn things around," Kohli said, ahead of Saturday's first ODI against England.
"If it was before the tour began, there would have been pressure on us [to live up to World champions status]. Now, considering how the tour has gone, it's up to us to just focus on cricket and not anything else," he added.
Image: Virat Kohli addresses the media on Friday, ahead of the first ODI against England
Photographs: Getty Images
'Most of us would like to bat through 20-25 overs'
The 22-year-old middle-order batsman said youngsters in the team have had enough time to prepare for the One-day series and they will try and give their best in the rest of the tour.
"There are fresh faces with the mindset to do well and have had time to prepare. We would hopefully try and win it," said Kohli, who has scored 2153 runs from 59 matches at an average of 43.94.
"We need to be tight and have strong bonding and leave out everything else. That's how we did well in World Cup. Just be together and not worry about anything else. I can feel in Indian dressing room that bonding is still there," he added.
The Delhi batsman believes it would be important for his side's batsmen to take up the responsibility and try and win matches single-handedly.
"The challenge is tough. They are really a good side. We have to take the responsibility in the middle order. Most of us would like to bat through 20-25 overs.
"We would all like to take up responsibility. You need to have the belief you can win the game single handedly. If we go with that mindset, we would put up strong challenge and compete," Kohli said.
Image: India captain M S Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar in discussion at the nets
'If I am asked to bowl 4-5 overs, I am up for it'
Kohli, who joined the squad as a replacement for Yuvraj Singh, said he prefers preparing for a contest mentally.
"I'd rather make myself mentally prepared -- take sometime off the game, not to bat at the nets at all, or might be batting regularly for a week. I need to do whatever makes me comfortable mentally," he said.
India is struggling to fill up the 10 overs of the fifth bowler, and Kohli, who got Kevin Pietersen stumped off his bowling at Old Trafford, said he is ready for the job.
"It wasn't planned. I tried to bowl a straight ball and it ended up being wide and he was stumped. I like bowling. I believe in myself that I wouldn't get smashed for 8-9 runs in an over. If I am asked to bowl 4-5 overs, I am up for it," he said.
Image: Tendulkar bats in the nets on Friday
'England alone don't bowl short'
Most international teams now look to pepper India's young batsmen with bouncers, but Kohli doesn't see any problem with short-pitched bowling.
"England alone don't bowl short. South Africans do as well. West Indians do. As an international cricketer, you can't expect not to get short bowling. If you try to run away you could end up somewhere else. If you are positive, you can handle short stuff from any kind of bowler. As far as I am concerned, I am up for it. I have no problem," he said.
Kohli said there was no let-up in their game and India had put up a tough fight in the last one-off Twenty20 match but, unfortunately, they could not stop the English cricketers from winning the tie.
"We fought really well in the last game. There wasn't any sign of letting the game go at any point of time. There was an odd mistake here and a bad decision here and there and it can cost you a game. We did really well to fight back but unfortunately we couldn't win the game," he said.
Image: Dhoni gets some batting practice in the nets