Spin will be the main weapon for hosts

Spin will be the main weapon for hosts

“We saw in the first game as well that spin was our main force,” said Kohli on Sunday afternoon. “We will take that as our strength and we would like to exploit it as much as we can . The spinners know the conditions in India really well; it’s about them expressing their skills and if they do that right, it’s very difficult on Indian wickets to tackle them.

“We are going to use the spinners as our strength. England did struggle against spin. We will try to capitalise on that in the middle overs, especially with these kind of wickets in India.”

Talk immediately veered to the pitch at the Feroze Shah Kotla, and Kohli was asked to provide his inputs as a ‘local lad’. “It’s always been on a slower side, there isn’t much bounce on this track,” he began, then revealed how little he has played here in recent times. “Apparently, it’s improved from before. You might not see too much bounce but it should be better than before. Yes, it’s my home ground but I have just played two games here. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Victory in the first one-dayer, by 126 runs with several seniors missing, was a huge confidence-booster, Kohli said. “It’s been a big confidence booster for us. Everyone is really keen to do well in this series and that victory showed it. It was a big margin and a big morale booster. A convincing victory always gives you confidence and hopefully, we can take that confidence into this game as well.

“Some of us youngsters have been given chances before and a lot of other youngsters have come into this team. It’s really exciting for Indian cricket for them to perform like that. If you can perform well against a strong side like England, the youngsters can be ready whenever they get a chance in future as well.”

Kohli was asked what he felt was the difference between the series in England and the first game in Hyderabad. “We played really well in the one-dayers in England,” he pointed out. “It was just a matter of crossing the line, which we couldn’t. We played our cricket hard and gave England a good fight. We always kept our heads high and that probably made the difference in this first game. We would like to continue with that attitude. Wins and losses always happen; we just want to remain in that space. We been in that calm confident collected state. That helps.”

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