Cricket

‘A batsman needs to be versatile’

No pressure: Virat Kohli says he doesn’t play for or think about centuries and that’s why he scores them often.

No pressure: Virat Kohli says he doesn’t play for or think about centuries and that’s why he scores them often.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Must adapt to what the team wants, says Kohli

Virat Kohli stressed flexibility across batting slots and formats here on Saturday ahead of the first ODI.

The Indian captain said, “If you look to bat in the position that you bat in one format, in all the formats, then it can get very difficult for the team to find the right kind of balance.

“So I think players need to adapt to what the team wants. A batsman needs to be versatile.”

He conceded making the switch from one batting position to another was not easy. “It takes time, If you see Jinks [Ajinkya Rahane] as well, he has played in the middle order in the ODIs, he plays in the middle order in Test matches.

“He’s also opened a lot in the ODIs as well. He felt that he was finding it difficult to switch. Now we’re backing Jinks at the top of the order. So he knows his plans are clear.”

Outstanding talent

On K.L. Rahul batting in the middle order in the ODIs, Kohli said, “KL is an outstanding talent. He’s proved himself in all formats. And he is someone who needs to be backed.

“Because we believe that he has the ability. Once he gets his role done, he’ll start winning us games. We’re very sure of that.”

Kohli, still only 28, has 47 international hundreds. The Indian captain revealed he did not focus on the three-figure mark.

“I don’t play for centuries. Maybe that’s why I end up crossing it more times because I am not thinking about it.

“So I don’t put myself under pressure. What’s most important is to win the match for the team.”

Kohli was of the view that all the verbal duels had little meaning unless you walked the talk. He said. “You can say what you want, you can keep talking the whole time but if you don’t deliver on the field it doesn’t matter.”

Asked about bowlers getting pounded on flat tracks in shorter formats, Kohli replied, “But when they have assistance form the pitch, you will see low-scoring games as well.

“Yeah, I mean, with two new balls, especially in the subcontinent, it becomes difficult for the pace bowlers to get wickets at regular intervals because of the lack of reverse swing. They just have to be smart in patches to get the total down.”

Queried about the prospects of India playing two wrist spinners, he said, “It is a great advantage, especially when both are so different from each other and both can pick up wickets in the middle overs. It’s something that gives me confidence as a captain.”

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 8:07:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/a-batsman-needs-to-be-versatile/article19700319.ece

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