India last won a Test series in England in 2007 and they have since lost three back-to-back series in the backyard of the Three Lions. It all started with the 0-4 whitewash in 2011 as MS Dhoni’s star-studded team were handed a lesson. The 2014 tour started with an astonishing win for Dhoni’s men in the Lord’s Test but the initiative was handed back to the hosts thereafter which led to a 1-3 loss.
India’s last tour of England in 2018 promised a lot as skipper Virat Kohli was in the form of his life with the bat and India had a sharper pace attack. But despite giving a tough fight in almost all the matches except the Lord’s Test, the team faced a 1-4 reversal.
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Hence, when Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri sat down to address the media via a virtual press conference before the team left for another Test tour of England, which also includes the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, a question on performing in England was very much on the cards.
India’s consecutive series wins in Australia has put this side on a pedestal like none other in the history of Indian cricket but winning in England is still a task left unaccomplished by this unit. But for Kohli, who is by far the most successful Indian Test captain now, in terms of both victories and win percentage, England is not a final frontier.
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“Test cricket, we have been number one for a few years, another transition is going within the team. I do not think this is the final frontier for the team. It is an ongoing process to keep the standard of Indian cricket high, transition phase is going on now so our job is to ensure that the passion remains within the next lot of players. We had no doubt in our minds that we will be the first team to feature in the WTC finals,” Kohli said.
“It is like football, if you win the Champions League, you do not stop working hard. You want to win three and four, it is our mindset, we want to win the finals. Then we want to restructure and be on top for the next few years.”
India will have a six-week gap between the WTC Final and the first Test against England and this will give Kohli and his men enough time to acclimatize to the conditions and try and get the better of the English on their own turf.