India captain Virat Kohli touched base on numerous topics in the pre-World Cup captains’ conference where he talked about defeat to Australia, defending large scores, the X-factors and India vs Pakistan.
Virat Kohli during the Captain’s Press Conference in London. (Source: AP)
Virat Kohli touched upon numerous topics in the pre-tournament captain’s conference for the ICC World Cup 2019. The India captain reiterrated the need to maintain consistency and stressed on its importance to avoid getting complacency. He had already termed this as the most challenging World Cup ever and felt the loss against Australia at home has helped his side prepare well for the mega tournament. India were 2-0 up in the five match ODI series at home before losing 3-2.
Here’s all that the skipper said in the conference:
On learnings from Australia ODI series defeat: “If a team on a given day, gets together against an experienced side, and believes more that they can win, it can happen. We learnt a lot from the Australia series. We were 2-0 up and we thought we are going to win one out of three, but they showed more passion, more character and more determination than us. Australia enjoyed every moment which we took a lot of learning from. If you play anyone in the World Cup, you have to have that passion and that commitment.”
On challenge by other teams and the need to focus on own skill rather than individual opponents: “In the World Cup, you look at the first 4-5 games you play because you are going play nine and it’s how you prepare. We don’t single out any games because all 10 teams are strong. If we play good cricket we are going to be in a good position. There are too many things to focus on the teams. We want players to focus on their skills, turn up on the day and hopefully have that skill set better than the opposition.”
On India vs Pakistan contest: “India-Pakistan is a very anticipated match but we keep saying that it’s very different for us from the way the fans look at it. You feel the anticipation of the fans when you enter the ground but as soon as you step on the field, it’s all professional. It’s a bowler trying to execute his skills and a batsman trying to execute his skills to the best of the potential. For us, it’s just another game that you need to win as a team. It brings pressure because the atmosphere is different but you feel it only till you start competing.”
With matches going 300-plus in England, what is a good total: “I feel 260-280 is going to be as difficult as to chase 380. I don’t see high-scoring games in the latter half of the tournament. You’ll see 250 defended as well,” he said. ” Not all teams are going to be at the same level. The fact that you are going to get closer to the knockout stage will have an impact as well. Teams would like to start in a balanced way and find their way in the game and then look to capitalise on the moment. I see pressure playing a massive factor in the second half.”
On being the prime wicket for bowlers and his X-factors: “As an individual, you don’t really focus on who wants to get you out or if you are being spoken about more. I take a lot of pride in making impact performances. Jofra is a world-class bowler and there’s a good reason why he has been included. He’s going to be England’s x-factor because he holds a skill set which is very different. He can generate a lot of pace which can be intimidating and you don’t really expect that from him because of his run-up,” Kohli stressed. “Rashid’s variations are very subtle and he just doesn’t give you any time at all. He brings the fast bowler intensity to spin bowling. He’s going to be very important for Afghanistan.”