Virat Kohli to critics of Indian pitches: You are free to write whatever you want

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Nagpur, Nov 27: Defending the Nagpur pitch, captain Virat Kohli today said people outside India are free to write and comment whatever they feel about the 22-yard strip, which assisted spinners.

Match Scorecard; Match Report; Photos

India defeated South Africa by 124 runs on Friday (November 24) to clinch the 4-match series 2-0 with one game remaining. With the contest ending on the 3rd day, many questioned the VCA Stadium track which helped spinners from the first day. (SA's 9-year streak ends)

South Africa's all 20 wickets fell to spin. Off-spinner R Ashwin was the wrecker-in-chief with a match haul of 12 wickets including his career-best 7/66 in the second innings. Chasing 310 for a win, the Proteas were bowled out for 185.

Speaking to reporters after the victory, Kohli said it was upto the batsmen to tackle the pitch conditions. He said they had not complained when India toured abroad in the past and will be the same in future.

When asked whether India should continue the policy of playing on turning tracks at home, Kohli shot back, "It is not a policy it is the conditions that you get in India. Otherwise you will just play Test matches which will get you 500 runs in an innings."

He continued, "You don't create bowlers like that, you don't win Test matches like that. The key is to win Test matches. I have said this before, wherever you go to play in the world, you got to be prepared to face those conditions and tune your game accordingly.

'It doesn't matter'

"Today was a classic example of two guys (Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis) applying themselves and showing that it can be done. I don't know why is there so much hype created around the issue."

Kohli said it did not matter that the focus was on pitches rather than India's victories in Mohali (1st Test) and Nagpur. "It doesn't really matter. People can talk about it, people can choose not to talk about it. Fact is that we have won the series and we have two Test matches. That is not going to change however many articles are written about the pitch, however many are written about our batting or undue advantage for our spinners.

"It doesn't matter. At the end of the day, results matter and that's why we play this game-to win games. That's exactly what has happened, we've won the series, we've sealed it here and we are very happy about that."

Kohli (right) celebrates Faf Du Plessis' (left) dismissal by Amit Mishra (not pictured)

The skipper pointed out that a lot of people (outside of India) were writing about the Nagpur wicket. "There are a lot of people writing a lot of things about the pitch, 'it should not be like this' or 'it is turning too much'...people sitting somewhere else and speaking about the pitch in India. I think it is just a matter of mindset where people are just giving their opinions and they are free to do so," the right-hander said.

"I don't feel that way, we have never complained when we had challenging conditions and wont complain in the future either. We have tried to improve our game, it is always a matter of us not having the technique or us not having the mental strength to cope with conditions away from home."

Banking on home advantage

Kohli, who tasted success in his very first home Test series as captain, said all teams bank on home advantage and it is not wrong. "But when these sorts of things happen, everybody starts talking about how it is an undue home advantage. In the last few years if you see the stats of any team they have dominated at home and that is how Test cricket has gone. Whoever has won away from home is the No. 1 or No. 2 side in the world. I think that takes a lot of character and that won't happen every time.

"South Africa hadn't lost in nine years and it is very hard to maintain that sort of record. Credit to them, they have not lost an away series for nine years but I would give credit to our boys for putting equal amount of pressure in the course of these three Test matches and actually win the series. I don't see anything more or less to it."

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