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.

Hardik Pandya May Get His Maiden Test Cap, Hints Virat Kohli

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Photo Credits: Prokerala.com

GALLE: India captain Virat Kohli on Tuesday hinted that Hardik Pandya may get his maiden Test cap against Sri Lanka on Wednesday as he chose to underline the all-rounder’s wicket-taking ability on all kind of tracks.

India had lost to Sri Lanka at Galle during the 2015 series when Kohli went in with a combination of five specialist bowlers with a batsman short in the playing XI.

However the presence of Pandya, who bowls fast medium close to 140 clicks and is a capable batsman, provides Kohli with the balance that he so aspires.

“Last time, we felt we probably were a batsman short and the fifth bowler did not do much in the game. We have those options again, but we have great balance in the side as well. We have got a guy like Hardik Pandya, who is a wicket-taking bowler. Every game that he plays, on any surface, he has a knack of picking wickets. He has a great chance of playing as well,” Kohli explained.

He referred how Stuart Binny’s small contributions became important in next two Tests that India won.

“In the next two Tests on that 2015 tour, we played an all-rounder (Binny) and that made all the difference. The extra batsmen would give us more solidity. We have taken learning from that and we will surely apply those straightaway in the series instead of getting a feel of how things will go. You need to have your best strike bowlers in order to pick up 20 wickets,” Kohli added.

Kohli reckoned that it will be a good wicket to bat on.

“There is a good grass covering and we expect it to be a good batting wicket. It was rolled yesterday (on Monday) and I am sure today (Tuesday), it would have been rolled in very nicely as well. And underneath the surface, it looks very hard. There is grass covering on it to keep the surface bound up and it should be a very good batting track,” the Indian skipper observed.

India will be missing Lokesh Rahul, who is down with viral fever. He is expected to be available later in the series but for now, Shikhar Dhawan will partner with Abhinav Mukund.

“Rahul is an established player and he has done very well for us in all formats over the past year. He is a very solid player, but these kinds of scenarios present opportunities to other players in the team to step up and show what they are capable of.

“They can have a solid performance and stay with the team for a longer period and get more chances to play in the future. So, our players look at these scenarios as opportunities and it is a great opportunity for Abhinav or Shikhar to string in a strong performances again,” said the skipper.

Kohli had words of encouragement for Rahul, who is just coming back after a shoulder surgery.

“It is difficult to keep the players positive when they are injured. I have also been injured recently and it’s a not a nice feeling. The only thing you can do is to accept the reality and know what needs to be done. There is not much you can do apart from doing rehab and all those sort of things.

Talking about Sri Lankan attack, the discussions veered towards veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.

“He (Herath) is a quality bowler. Last time, he really dented us in that small chase. It’s something that actually was a great eye opener for us. We worked on those things in the next two games and we were able to win the series. He played both the games and the ball was still doing a bit.

“I think our batsmen came up with the goods and they had the counter plans in place. So we understand what he brings to the table and understand what needs to be done,” the skipper concluded.

© THE TIMES OF INDIA

Virat Kohli Alleges Australians ‘Disrespected’ Indian Team Physio

While saving a run on the first day of the third Test, Virat Kohli hurt his shoulder and Farhart rushed onto the field to attain to his injury. Kohli eventually left the field with the physio.

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Virat Kohli injured his shoulder while fielding during Australia’s first innings.

Allegations and denials flew thick and fast between rival captains Virat Kohli and Steven Smith with the India skipper alleging that his team’s physio Patrick Farhart was “disrespected” by Australians during the 3rd Test in Ranchi. Kohli said that some Australians unnecessarily taunted Farhart but Smith rubbished the claim.

“They (four-five of them) started taking Patrick’s name. I don’t know why. He’s our physio. His job is to treat me. I don’t find the reason behind it. I could not understand. You must ask why they have started taking his name,” said Kohli after the Ranchi Test ended in a draw.

While saving a run on the first day of the third Test, Kohli hurt his shoulder and Farhart rushed onto the field to attain to his injury. Kohli eventually left the field with the physio.

Later Glenn Maxwell was seen mocking Kohli’s injury when he imitated his action by clutching his right shoulder after his dive to save a boundary. The Indian skipper, too, gave it back with a similar gesture when David Warner got out on Day 4.

When an Australian scribe asked about the mocking incident involving himself and Glenn Maxwell, an upset Kohli said: “It’s funny all our guys ask about cricket as the first thing and you ask about something controversial. But it’s okay. These things happen on the field.”

However Smith insisted that they never disrespected Farhart, who himself is an Australia.

“It was a bit disappointing. I didn’t actually do anything. Virat was having a go at me saying I was disrespecting Patrick Farhart. It was probably the exact opposite.

“I think he probably did a pretty terrific job to be able to get Virat back on the field after that shoulder injury. He’s a terrific physio and he obviously does a great job for them,” said Smith.

Asked about his take on the spirit of the game, Smith said: “There’s always a bit of tension when you’re playing India in Test matches. As far I’m concerned it’s being played in the right spirit on the field and it’s a hard and tough grind. That’s how I would explain it and no issues with that.”

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