Eye on 2019 World Cup, Vi­rat Kohli wants gen­uine all-rounders in team

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - - Ht Sportsmax - Sports­desk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHEN­NAI: In­dia cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli prefers five spe­cial­ist bowlers in Tests but keep­ing in mind the 2019 World Cup, he hinted that a com­bi­na­tion of three bowlers and two bowl­ing all-rounders would be ad­e­quate.

“A lot of teams are head­ing that way. You need depth in bat­ting, you need depth in bowl­ing as well. I think those two all­rounders pro­vide that kind of bal­ance to you. That’s why we have some­one like Hardik or Axar in the team. Or Jadeja... he is a proper left-arm all-rounder. You need to iden­tify at least two of those guys for your side to have more strength in both the de­part­ments,” said Kohli at a press con­fer­ence be­fore the first ODI against Australia here.

“You need a proper all­rounder and not a bowl­ing and a bat­ting all-rounder. It paid div­i­dends in the last se­ries as well and that’s some­thing we will look to con­tinue as it gives us good bal­ance,” said Kohli. The In­dia cap­tain also said there was no ques­tion of see­ing the visi­tors in dif­fer­ent light after a rel­a­tively easy tour sweep against Sri Lanka.

“I don’t think that we need to look at any se­ries dif­fer­ently. You can’t raise or de­crease your in­ten­sity ac­cord­ing to who you are play­ing against. That’s not be­ing fair to the sport and that’s some­thing that we as a team do not be­lieve in. So, we like to pre­pare the same way and we like to play with the same kind of in­ten­sity re­gard­less of who we are play­ing,” he said.

This ODI se­ries is gain­ing hype in light of the ten­sion and controversy dur­ing the Test rub­ber ear­lier this year but Kohli isn’t will­ing to in­dulge in it. “You can say what you want, you can keep talk­ing the whole time but if you don’t de­liver on the field it doesn’t mat­ter. All those things are to get that as­pect of mind games which I think cre­ates an ex­cite­ment for the fans watch­ing as well,” he said.

Talk of hav­ing two wrist spin­ners in the side got Kohli ex­cited but he kept his cards close to his ch­est re­gard­ing the bowl­ing com­bi­na­tion for Sun­day. “It is a great ad­van­tage to have two wrist spin­ners in your team, es­pe­cially when both are so dif­fer­ent to each other and both can pick wick­ets in the mid­dle-overs. Those two guys have pro­vided that to us and they are con­fi­dent com­ing into this se­ries,” he said.

JADEJA RE­PLACES AXAR

Ravin­dra Jadeja has been added to the squad after Axar Pa­tel was in­jured in a foot­ball game dur­ing Fri­day’s prac­tice. Axar had sprained his an­kle and limped off the ground. Though he re­ceived im­me­di­ate med­i­cal at­ten­tion, he missed the nets.

You need a proper all­rounder and not a bowl­ing and a bat­ting all­rounder. It paid div­i­dends in the last se­ries and we will look to con­tinue. On gen­uine all-rounders You can’t raise or de­crease your in­ten­sity ac­cord­ing to who you are play­ing against. That’s some­thing we as a team do not be­lieve in. On the se­ries

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