Virat Kohli held a press conference ahead of the second Test against England. Shardul Thakur will balance playing XI under England conditions but Indian captain Virat Kohli indicated on Wednesday that the team’s management will look at a player taking 20 wickets when deciding on the Mumbai pacer option. Kohli’s statement can be viewed as both favorable and unfavorable to experienced spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. In the first Test, Thakur was preferred as a fast bowling all-rounder than Ashwin.
Kohli’s statement is confident of Ashwin’s wicket-taking ability, and that Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav can give the bowling attack more than Ashwin’s few runs. Commenting on Thakur’s departure from the second Test due to left leg pressure, Kohli told the pre-match press conference, “The good thing is that Jadeja scored in the first Test and he is more confident in the second Test.” .
“Yes, Shardul has great batting ability but Pujara, Jinx (Ajinkya Rahane) and I have not scored enough,” he said. The captain said he was not overly concerned with the batsman’s ability when deciding Thakur’s replacement. Each match is an opportunity for other batsmen to take charge. Rohit and KL Rahul have played really well and we are very comfortable in our position as a batting unit and we do not feel that we are any less of a batsman if we do not play Shardul.
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Kohli has once again hinted that he wants to follow the path of the first Test in the second Test. “For us it is perfect balance but if someone like Shardul is unavailable, we have to take 20 wickets and try not to add any batting player. We are very comfortable with what happened in the first match.
“I don’t think it’s a cause for concern,” he said. Our main focus is not on how individual players work but on how collectively they strengthen the team. What is your best and strongest batting unit that you can field. Wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant has had mixed success with his aggressive style in the two Tests in England this season and Kohli does not want the young player to change his approach.
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He said the message of management for Pant is throughout. Kohli said the team’s message is very clear. We expect an innings from him that will change momentum and reverse the direction of the match.