Kohli bats for five bowlers

Cricket : 'You need to play a stronger bowling unit in order to win Tests'

Kohli bats for five bowlers

 Indian Test captain Virat Kohli expressed his confidence in Ravichandran Ashwin’s batting abilities and said that there is no reason why the Tamil Nadu tweaker can’t be the all-rounder that the Indian team is looking for in longer version.

“Ashwin, Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) are all handy with the bat. Ashwin has a Test average of 40 and I cannot see why he can’t be that all-rounder for us. That’s the challenge. It is about giving people goals and asking them to improve in certain aspects where the team requires,” Kohli told the media at the pre-departure press conference ahead of India’s three-match Test series in Sri lanka.

Kohli again stressed that he would like to play five bowlers in order to give the team a chance to take 20 wickets and also that three spinners could be a reality during the series.

“You need to play a stronger bowling side in order to win Test matches and it’s more exciting and satisfying as well. Yes, that’s a possibility (three spinners). The idea is to take 20 wickets. I strongly believe that you need to have your best bowlers to play in order to give your team a chance to do that. The whole idea of playing five bowlers is that the top six have to take more responsibility (with the bat),” the skipper said.

Kohli said that the Sri Lanka series will give him proper chance to execute certain plans.
“It is an opportunity to have certain plans to prepare for a particular series. We will judge ourselves on the basis of those three Test matches and analyse how many times we were able to do things actually we wanted to do. I think in one-off Test matches you do not get that opportunity.

“You prepare for a week or 10 days and that game gets over in five days and correct things and straight away go in to the second game. That is very exciting for me personally to play a full series as a captain and to be able to have the opportunity of executing certain things that we want to do as a team,” said Kohli.
Kohli also downplayed concerns about Murali Vijay’s fitness issues.

No fitness concern

“I do not see any issues with Vijay’s fitness. I think he is the guy who has been very solid for us at the top of the order. He has improved his game immensely in the last one and half years. He has given us very solid starts. Few niggles here and there can happen in cricket and as long as it is not a serious injury, we are responsible enough to know that is match-fit before we get in to the first Test,” the skipper opined.

Kohli is happy that there is some competition at the top of the order with KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, both in good form in the longer format.

“The opening slot is being contested very strongly. Rahul performed well in Australia when Shikhar was not scoring consistently. Rahul stepped in beautifully. Now Shikhar has got runs again and Vijay is in good touch too.

“So, it is just in the matter of shift in the balance as to who is playing well at what particular. Problem of plenty is never bad. So we might have even three guys playing well rather than two guys who are not playing well,” said the skipper.

The skipper was also defended Rohit Sharma’s string of poor scores in Test matches and said that he is happy with Mumbaikar’s batting slot.

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