‘Hunger’ drives India to feast at top of Test table


“Team culture: India celebrate the dismissal of Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim on their way to a crushing victory in the first Test in Indore. ©AFP” />

Indore (India) (AFP) – Virat Kohli’s India were hailed as a team driven by “hunger” after stretching their lead in the new world Test championship with a crushing win over Bangladesh inside three days.

India won by an innings and 130 runs in Indore on Saturday to give them 300 points from victories in all six of their Tests in the inaugural championship, which began in August and will end in June 2021.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka are second and third in the fledgling table, 240 points behind but each having played four fewer matches than India.

The team’s latest triumph was ecstatically praised by the press on Sunday with the Times of India headline reading “Demolition Men” while the Hindustan Times blazed “India too fast and furious for Bangladesh”.

“Getting there (to number one) is difficult, staying there is even more difficult,” bowling coach Bharat Arun said after India’s pacemen saw off Bangladesh for 150 and 213.

“I think to do that over a period of three years, you need to stay constantly hungry.”

Batting coach Vikram Rathour said India had built an ethos where victory for the team was more important than individual performances.

“It’s the team culture.It’s not about batting or bowling.The team wants to be the number one team in the world.That’s why you see the hunger,” said Rathour.

India’s opening win in the two-match series was their third straight innings victory and a record sixth consecutive Test triumph at home.

It was also Kohli’s 10th innings victory as captain, surpassing the previous record of nine under his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

“Virat must be fast becoming India’s best ever skipper …#INDvBAN,” former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted.

India are now favourites to extend their winning streak to a 12th successive home Test series after surpassing Australia’s previous record of 10 in the recent 3-0 sweep of South Africa.

The final match of the series, beginning Friday in Kolkata, will be India’s day-night Test debut.

Kohli said he was looking forward to the new experience of playing with the pink ball in the Eden Gardens Test which will also be Bangladesh’s first under lights.

“The pink-ball Test is going to be exciting, will be a challenge for the batters,” said Kohli.

“With the older ball, it doesn’t swing that much so the bowlers will have a challenge.We’re just happy to be among the first to play pink-ball cricket for India.”

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