Virat Kohli talks about India's T20I ranking, role of wrist spinners in Australia and importance of Ravindra Jadeja
- Ahead of the T20I series against West Indies, Indian skipper Virat Kohli spoke to the media on various subjects with T20 World Cup in mind.
Ahead of the T20I series against the West Indies, Indian skipper Virat Kohli spoke to the media on various subjects concerning India's preparation for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia next year. Virat Kohli dismissed any talks of India or BCCI not taking the T20I format seriously and stated that India's ranking of fifth in the T20I format wasn't a clear reflection of their performances on the field, mentioning that India didn't play T20Is with a regular squad at a stretch.
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Talking to the reporters at the pre-series press conference, Kohli brought clarity to the issue of too many youngsters being tried by the Indian team in this format. He explained that posting the strongest XI every time wouldn't make them the best and there needed to be a balance of giving opportunities and testing the youngsters before exposing them against the world's best on Australian pitches next year. He said:
“We need to focus on batting first and defending low totals as well. Those are two things that we need to really focus on. T20 is a format where you can experiment a lot more than ODIs and Tests."
“You want to give chances to the youngsters in the shortest format, we have not played the strongest eleven together in T20Is so rankings cannot be considered... We have the mindset that we will not focus on the rankings. Now heading into the T20 World Cup, we need to take our best team to the field, we would probably be playing our strongest eleven going into the World Cup.”
Speaking on the talent available for him in the spin-bowling department, Kohli expressed his excitement on having writs spinners at his disposal on the big grounds of Australia next year and how they can be his major wicket-taking options. He stated:
“Having two wrist spinners is a big advantage when you are playing in Australia as they have big fields.”
“You need to have six bowling options in T20 cricket, I think that is the balance we need to create, there can be an opportunity to play two wrist spinners, but we need to find a way to work around that."
Kohli praised the improvement shown by all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja over the past two years and tagged him as one of the most flexible players for India across all three formats. He said:
“Jadeja is in his best phase as an all-rounder, we are happy with how our options are placed. T20 cricket is all about being flexible."
India play three T20Is and three ODIs against West Indies between December 6 and December 22.
India's squad for T20I series against West Indies
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Bhuveshwar Kumar, and Mohammad Shami
West Indies T20I squad for series against India
Kieron Pollard (C), Nicholas Pooran (VC), Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Nicholas Pooran, Denesh Ramdin, Sherfane Rutherford, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell.Published 05 Dec 2019, 17:12 IST