Ahead of the four-Test series against the West Indies, starting July 21, skipper Virat Kohli on Monday said rankings are the by-products of good performance.
A 4-0 clean sweep of the Caribbean side will put India on the pedestral of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings, but Kohli said the team is more focused on performing well as rankings will automatically improve.
“Our target is not to become No.1 in Tests. I don’t think any team plays for the sake of rankings. The main goal is to play good cricket. Even if you are No.1 in rankings and don’t play for a long time, you can become No.2 and you will have no control over it. All we can control is the kind of cricket we will be playing,” Kohli told reporters during the pre-departure press conference here.
“These (rankings) things are like by-products. It’s an incentive for good performance and we can celebrate it. The aim is to execute our plans taking one Test match at a time. This is a big season and it will help us build a rhythm. Otherwise, you play two Tests and then don’t play for six months, there is no rhythm.”
With India slated to play 17 Tests in the coming season, Kohli said it is the perfect opportunity to find a settled Test team for the coming years.
“This is the perfect situation and opportunity to challenge and assess ourselves as a Test team. These months will define how we play as a Test team in coming years,” he said.
“From the last Test series (against South Africa), we have learnt a lot. We have addressed issues like not losing wickets just before or after the break. You would want to dominate the game and losing early wickets means that you are always playing a catch-up game,” Kohli added.