Kohli hits out at hectic schedule

Kohli hits out at hectic schedule

Without adequate preparation, players get unfairly criticised: skipper

Kohli hits out at hectic schedule

Virat Kohli confirmed speculations that the Indian team management had asked for green-top wickets, similar to the ones they may come across in South Africa, for the three-Test series against Sri Lanka but the skipper also used the occasion to hit out at the hectic schedule that leaves little time for proper preparation.

"Yes, because unfortunately, we get only two days before we fly to South Africa after this series gets over," said Kohli when asked if the team had asked for such conditions. "So we have no choice but be in a game situation and think of what's coming ahead of us. Had we got a month off ideally, we would have done a proper preparation in a camp sort of scenario but we have to sort of make do with what we have," he observed.

After the three Tests, India play Lanka in three ODIs and as many T20Is before they fly to South Africa for close to a two-month hectic schedule. While the series against Lanka ends on December 24, India's first Test against South Africa begins on January 5 next year with little space for either recovery or venue-specific preparation. They just have one two-day warm-up match to get acclimatised to the conditions. Kohli strongly advocated reassessment of the schedule as he felt that, in the absence of lack of preparation, the team was going to suffer setbacks and players would unfairly get criticised.

"As usual cramped for time, which I think we need to assess in future as well because we very easily assess the team when we go abroad but we don't look at how many days we have got to prepare before we go to a particular place to play," he remarked. "And everyone starts judging players when results come after Test matches. It should be a fair game where we get to prepare the way we want to and then we are entitled to be criticised."

A green-top wicket is a double-edged sword, but Kohli said the team had no choice but to use the last Test series before their tour of South Africa as a means to prepare for the challenges there.

"So we thought this (Lanka series) is an ample opportunity for us to challenge ourselves, put us in a situation where we want to embrace being in difficult conditions," he noted. "I am not saying that everyone will go out and perform immediately but if we can feel comfortable about it after one or two or three innings, someone will come good. And once you come good, you build on that confidence. It's the same for the bowlers. Yes, we are looking at this as an opportunity."