Virat Kohli Clears Air, No Problems Playing ODI Series

The first ODI will be played on August 20 at Dambulla.

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Virat Kohli addressing media ahead of the third Test at Pallekele. (Photo Courtesy: Prokerala.com)

India captain Virat Kohli on Friday put all the rumours, about him not willing to play the One Day International series (ODI) against Sri Lanka, to rest after he made it clear that he has no problems playing the upcoming series. “Who said I am not playing? I don’t know where this came from, but I have no problems in playing,” Kohli answered to a query on team selection. The Indian team will be selected on August 13. “We (team management and selectors) are going to sit down on selection soon and we certainly have plans in mind and combinations that we want to speak about. So as captain, I am definitely in the thick of things and knowing what to speak to the committee about,” he added.

Fully aware of spinners’ heavy workload during the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka, the team management and national selectors may rest Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja from the limited overs matches. It is expected that pacer Mohammed Shami will also be rested from the ODI series as his workload needs to be monitored. Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad is in Kandy to track the performances while his colleague Devang Gandhi is in South Africa with the A team.

After the last Test of the three-match series in Pallekele starting from Saturday, the Indian cricket team will play the five-match ODI series. The first match will be played in Dambulla on August 20. The Men in Blue also play one-off Twenty after the ODI series.

(With PTI inputs)

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According To Virat Kohli, KL Rahul Is Definitely Coming Back For The 2nd Royal Stag Sri Lanka vs India Test

India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday made it clear that India will bring back opener KL Rahul in the playing XI for the second Test against Sri Lanka which begin on Thursday in Colombo.

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Virat Kohli said that he expects a result in Colombo. (Photo Credits: Prokerala.com)

India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday made it clear that India will bring back opener KL Rahul in the playing XI for the second Test against Sri Lanka which begin on Thursday in Colombo. The skipper said that according to him, Rahul is definitely coming back and one of the openers has to make way for him in the playing XI.

“KL Rahul has been our establish opener. One of the openers will have to make way for KL. What he has done in the past two years for us is very solid and he deserves to come back and start fresh in Test cricket,” he said.

Though Kohli said a final decision will be taken only after the team meeting after evening practice, he added that according to him, Rahul is back.

“We have a team meeting after the practice and we can clarify more after the meeting but according to me, KL is definitely coming back at the top order,” he said.

Asked about the wicket in Colombo, Kohli said that he saw a lot of grass on the wicket. But, the captain ruled out a possibility of playing left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

“There is a lot of grass. When you have big squad there are a lot of possibilities. We don’t like to announce anything a day prior. It’s sort of a surprise for opposition. Looking on the conditions we can go with anyone. Everyone is prepared to take the field,” he said.

India won the first Test in Galle by 304 runs and will like to win the series in Colombo. Kohli said that it is a wicket that will produce a result for sure.

“Last time around as well we thought it was a great wicket for Test cricket. Batsmen had to apply themselves to get runs, bowlers were in the game throughout. So it is a wicket that you will get a result on and that excites us. That is something we look forward to as a team. This is the kind of wicket we like to play on where we have to chance to make an impact on the game throughout,” he said.

We Want To Do Things Right From Our Point Of View: Virat Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli wants the side to focus on their own strengths and doing things right regardless of the nature of the opposition ahead of the next game against West Indies.

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Virat Kohli believes the team must look to focus on their strengths. (Photo Credit: AFP)

St John’s, Antigua: Antigua, where driving 11 miles on either side brings you to the sea, is so tranquil that apart from the sonorous sound made by tree frogs and crickets together, you hear nothing.

It gives, as India skipper Virat Kohli said on the day of arrival in the Caribbean, a relaxed atmosphere so needed right after the intense Champions Trophy. In a way, this isolation could be a blessing in disguise for the Indian team that had been riven by the coach-captain discord.

Walking through the tiny and unassuming village town of St John’s, you get to know from the ice cream vendor what flavour Sir Viv Richards prefers when he drops in for a shake, and get to know easily where Curtly Ambrose is playing the bass next, and of course the casino he’ll be visiting.

It is quiet with former star cricketers doing their things without making news even though they breathed fire during their playing days.

Current West Indian paceman Alzarri Joseph too comes from one of the villages that makes up the island and although quick, he hasn’t been able to make an impact in the two ODIs and the one-dayers before. He troubled the India U-19s at the junior World Cup, bursting into limelight, and last year scalped Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the Test at Gros Islet.

His shambolic performance here, however, reflects the state West Indies cricket is in. So for a top class side like India, this lack of competition is also a test.

The second ODI looked more like being played at two different levels. India batted superbly whereas West Indies behaved like an associate nation looking to just bat out the overs even though they were just 43.

In such a situation, what is the motivation?

Skipper Virat Kohli says it is about following the processes and the standard they have set just to ensure they don’t lose track. At the moment, West Indies are lying in the ninth position with a 16-point difference against the next best, eighth placed Sri Lanka.

“For us, it about doing the things that we can do right and executing our skills to the best of our potential. Regardless of how the opposition reacts we want to do things right from our point of view, keep putting in the effort every ball, every over we play with the bat and the ball, in the field as well,” says Kohli.

“That’s the kind of mindset we take on the field. Regardless of what the opposition is doing we like to focus on our strengths.”

This, however, is also an opportunity to sort out weak links too. The middle order appears brittle and under pressure it cracked in the Champions Trophy final. By handing the opportunity to Kuldeep Yadav and by pushing Hardik Pandya up the batting order, Kohli made his intentions known.

A total of 300 runs isn’t enough these days as a target, as was proved against Sri Lanka in Champions Trophy, and the skipper is already working on setting the bar high. He smashed 87 off 66 balls and sent in Pandya ahead of Yuvraj and Dhoni.

“Kedar and Hardik haven’t got much game time in the past. The more games they get under their belt and more experience they get it will be good. They are actually consistently striking every game and more experience they get, then as a middle order group you can begin to go after the bowling early,” says the Indian captain.

© Khurram Habib, hindustantimes