Ashwin understands the team-demands, says Kohli

Ashwin understands the team-demands, says Kohli
Billed as one of the favourites, India dished out a clinical show in their Champions Trophy opener against Pakistan and are tipped to come hard against Sri Lanka on Thursday as well. Indian skipper Virat Kohli, however, said his team is not taking victory for granted and are aware of the perils of complacency.

“Yes, at the moment we are playing some good cricket, but that doesn't mean that we play with arrogance as a team,” said Kohli at the Oval on Wednesday.

“We respect every opposition the same way and we intend to play the same kind of cricket against everyone. That's the only way to win a game of cricket. But there are no guarantees. In this sport, anyone can upset anyone on their given day. All I can say is, as a team, we just want to focus on what we can do right and the things that are working for us.”

In a team loaded with stars, Kohli, more often than not, sometimes has to make tough choices in team selection. In the opening game he chose to leave out R Ashwin, India’s best spinner and a key factor in India’s march to the title in 2013. While it could hurt the ego of one the best spinners in the world now, Kohli felt Ashwin is professional enough to put team needs over self.  “Ashwin is a high class bowler and everyone knows that. And he's very professional as well. He understood the dynamics of the side that we picked in the last game and he was absolutely fine with it. You know, he's just told me, I support you whatever you want to do. That's always been our equation.

“Yes, we do have disagreements on bowling plans and all those sort of things because he's a very smart guy and he has his own plans in place. All those things happen. But in this case where team selection and all these things come into play, he's very professional. He understands what the team demands.

“It's a very nice thing and a beautiful thing about him that he always puts the team first. He was the first guy who said, I have no problems with the kind of combination you're going in with,” added Kohli.

The Delhiite also said taking such tough decision isn’t difficult because the team is extremely united. “It's very hard for people looking from the outside, but the kind of understanding we have within the team, it's difficult to explain. We have a lot of respect among the players and trust among the players. There's no issues whatsoever -- I'm not saying this because I want to make it sound good, but if you guys ever end up experiencing that team environment, you'll understand what I'm saying.”


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