Kohli on debutants vs West Indies: The Indian captain spoke about the youngsters in his team, making frequent changes and other topics.
With less than 24 hours remaining for the first Test between India and West Indies to be played at Rajkot, India have already announced their 12-member squad. During the press conference ahead of the match, Indian captain Virat Kohli applauded the youngsters who have made it to the Test team for they have come on the back of sound performances in the past year.
“Someone like Hanuma Vihari, Prithvi Shaw or Mayank Agrawal have been brought in because they’ve done well in domestic circuit consistently. They should look at it as an opportunity and not as pressure. It is a great chance for them to cement their place and play for a long time,” Kohli was quoted.
Kohli insisted on the fact that the team realises that it has to improve in a few areas. “We know as a team and everyone on the outside also knows the areas we need to improve on. If you look at sides, who win Test matches, contributions at the top and contributions in the lower order are more crucial than the guys who bat in the middle. Whatever happens in the middle is connected to either the top order or what the lower order does,” said the 29-year old Indian skipper.
Speaking about the reason why England had a significant edge against India in the recently concluded Test series, Kohli said, “The reason why England won against us is because their lower order showed more resistance. I wouldn’t say the top order did better than us. Usually, all the batsmen struggle over there due to the conditions.
“See, in home conditions, we are not bothered by it because we have done really well in home conditions when the lower order contribution is concerned. We’d like to take the series as a benchmark we would like to set. With a couple of new guys coming in at the top of the order, they have a opportunity to show the skill set they have got and why the selectors have backed them.”
In the past, there have been apprehensions regarding the motive which a two-Test series serves. Kohli was of the opinion his team looks at improving irrespective of the number of matches to be played. “Well, we don’t really think of whether a two-Test series makes sense or not because you have to play well to win a test match. We’ve played one test series in the past which is not heard of many times,” he added.
However, he also said that more number of Test matches gives you enough time to sort things out. “As a side, you want to see three or four Tests so that you have ample time to test your skills and test out the areas you need to improve upon. Having said that, we have to utilise the time that we have and make the most of these two matches we have in front of us,” he further added.
People usually find faults with Kohli when it comes to him making frequent changes to the playing eleven. On being asked upon this, Kohli said that the playing XI depends on the conditions and nothing else. “Obviously, you need your best XI on the park. There’s no doubt about that. In the past, most of the changes we’ve made are in the bowling combinations. The bowlers [that have sat] out have never believed that we’ve been hard done by or this has been unfair on us because we have to take the best XI on the park.
“We have hardly tinkered with the batting order. We have utilized the conditions to the maximum because wherever we have gone we have been able to pick up wickets because of the fact that we played people who are suited for those kind of conditions. Yes, the batting hasn’t been up to the mark which is why we didn’t win in South Africa and England,” Kohli said.
Below are some of the recent Twitter reactions on Kohli ahead of the first Test:
— Sparsh Telang (@sparshblogger) October 3, 2018
Virat doesn’t believe in Publicity. He never told in Press Conference that I told Youngster to do that in different Condition, I will back you whether you fail or pass. Bla bla like Other Captain do to become hero😆 My Capt. Believe to take Indian Cricket forward. #ViratKohli 👑
— Cricket Keeda❤️ (@Surana9Naveen) October 3, 2018
— aVikrantGuptaFan😎 (@sampathkumarre6) October 3, 2018