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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Need to counter Australian batters: Virat Kohli


Down 0-1 in the seven-match series against Australia, the MS Dhoni-led Indian team trained at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium ahead of the second ODI. The Men in Blue went about their tasks diligently, practicing their skills in the first half of the day. (Also Read: India vs Australia Star Sports 2nd ODI 2013: Preview)
Team India has taken pointers from the last two matches and is ready for a face-off on Wednesday. Analysing the opposition, No.3 batsman Virat Kohli said, “They are a pretty good team. They have a lot of talent in their side; they are quite similar to our side as far as young talent is concerned. But we sort of know their game plan now. They came out all guns blazing when batting in the last two games. We need to counter that; make them work for their runs. We need to plan a lot better against their batsmen and not allow them to come out and express themselves so freely. (We should) try to get into tough situations and make situations tough for them.”
Speaking about Shane Watson and James Faulkner’s familiarity with Sawai Mansingh Stadium – on account of them playing for the Rajasthan Royals – Kohli observed, “They have played a lot of Twenty20 cricket here, but we have more experience of playing here in 50-overs cricket. It’s a different ball game altogether. If you make them work for their wickets in 50-50 games, it’s different. In ODIs, batsmen can delay their attack and turn it up when they want to. But yes, they will have a fair idea of the conditions here. But we have played more here in one-day cricket. So we need to use that to our advantage.”
“In Jaipur, you need to bat well. You need to play correct cricketing shots and back your strengths. Here, you get value for your shots,” Kohli added while elaborating on the wicket here.
The hosts were working to sharpen their skills. After the subpar performance of their bowlers, the Indian batsmen too had not been able to live up to their high billing in the first match. Facing the short delivery has been an area of concern for the Indian batsmen. When asked about the team’s plan to counter short balls, Kohli told the media, “We haven’t practiced specifically for short-pitched bowling. All teams bowl short at times. But yes, the Australians have some extra pace, which they used well in the last match. We are aware of it. We haven’t practiced against it specifically because none of us were dismissed off short balls. We lost wickets because of bad shots, which we need to be aware of more.”
“If I am good enough to score runs at the international level, I should be good enough to face anything that is thrown at me. I don’t know why, whenever we play Australia or England or South Africa, this is brought up again and again. You should see how many people actually get out to the short ball. Most wickets fell edging to the slips or lbw or bowled.”
Kohli further said, “We have other things to worry about – situations in the game, how to come out of difficult situations, etc.”
While reflecting on the last match, he mentioned, “It was one of those games where we didn’t do a few things too well. We were pretty good on the field, but we were not up to the mark with the ball and while batting we played some bad shots and lost wickets at crucial times. It was just an off day.”
However, as was seen in the match in Pune, where India conceded 38 runs in the last three overs, bowling in the death overs has been an area of concern for the home team. “It’s an area we are trying to improve on in every game. Where we get a little assistance with the new ball, we try to dominate and control. In India, death bowling is most important in one-day cricket,” Kohli said.
However, he also observed, “It’s a young side. We have done well in the recent past. You learn as you go on. Our bowlers are improving, working on field placements, trying to play with the minds of the batsmen. They need time. Death bowling is a skill you learn over time.”
Talking about his own batting and building on the starts that he gets, Kohli said, “That was in my mind. It didn’t work out in the last game. Hopefully if I get a start in this game, I can make it a big one.”
When asked about his reaction to Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement announcement, Kohli said, “It will be a very difficult moment. I have grown up idolising him. He has been my biggest inspiration. The way he has won India matches is an inspiration to all of us. I don’t know how I will react after his last match, but it will be a tough moment for all of us. Not just me or the team, but every Indian who follows cricket. For the last 24 years, no one has thought of an Indian team without Sachin. The moment will come and I can’t express how I will react then. But yes, it will be sad.”

source: bcci.tv


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