The Indian side has arrived in England and are currently acclimatising themselves with the surroundings in their bid to defend their Champions Trophy title.
Virat Kohli was involved in his first press conference after arriving in England, and pointed out a few reinforcements that the Indian side has gone in with, so as to provide a better balance to the entire unit. Kohli feels that strengthening the lower middle order with the likes of Jadhav and Pandya help Dhoni play his natural game.
“The one thing we needed to strengthen was our lower middle-order contribution. Too much burden was coming on MS in the past couple of years, was what we felt. He wasn’t able to express himself purely because of the fact there are not enough guys showing composure to finish off games with him.
“But having had Kedar (Jadhav) and Hardik (Pandya) do so well in that particular phase of the innings, that has strengthened our squad really well. And how they’re coming in provides that beautiful balance to us,” said Kohli at his first press conference at the Champions Trophy.
“So that’s one area we needed improvement on. And the series against England really sealed it for us. So we’re in pretty good head space going into this tournament,” added Kohli.
Kohli has emphasised on the fact that the Indian side is pretty balanced and now it is just about executing their skills on the field.
“I feel we’re pretty balanced going forward. We’re pretty balanced side. All the bowlers are bowling well. The batsmen are playing well. We’ve got depth in batting. We’ve got order on those. We’ve got really good fast bowlers.
“You might have the best side in the world. But if you don’t execute it, there’s no point having that skill. So I think in a tournament like this, it all boils down to how you execute on the day,”
Speaking about his batting form in English conditions, Kohli said that he would definitely want to improve on his current overseas stats, but believed that there is no ‘vengeance’ in his mind, and that he is approaching the game in a very calm and focussed manner.
“If you talk about the longer format of the game, this was one tool that I wasn’t able to do well away from home. And that hurt me personally in a way that I wasn’t able to contribute for the team.
“That could have been in India as well. But because you want to succeed everywhere that you play, it motivates you even further to come back and do particularly well in those places you haven’t done well.
“But having said that, it’s no sort of feeling of vengeance or anything like that. For me it’s a game of cricket. I surely have evolved from then to now, mentally as a player, and my skill as well,” said the Indian captain
“I like to take every game of cricket the same way regardless of where I play in the world. England obviously brings a lot of challenges as far as batting is concerned and those are challenges that I would certainly love to overcome.
“Personally for my growth as a batsman not for anything else, not to prove a point to anyone, but personally for my satisfaction at the end of my career, I would like to feel that, yes, I’ve done well everywhere that I played in the world. So just from that point of view it surely is exciting for me,” said Kohli.