What’s the story?
Indian captain Virat Kohli stressed on the need of experimentation and giving ‘roles to players’ in the near future ahead of the start of the ODI series against Sri Lanka. With a lot of limited overs cricket games lined up in the coming months, Kohli believes that while there is the burden of expectation of an Indian victory every time, the experimentation shouldn't be stopped.
Kohli told reporters at the press-conference, "For us, it's all about when you want to start giving roles to players and experimenting as a team. Sometimes we get so carried away by team India's expectations that you have to win every game and that we don't follow a pattern. So it's very important to understand that as a group."
He urged his team to be ready so as to embrace challenges and put in their best efforts. Kohli said, "Criticism will come along the way, but we should be ready to embrace challenges and be ready to take risks and to lose a few games when you need to try out something. We are very comfortable with trying things in very different ways.”
"But we need to start making the effort because 8-10 months down the line, we will be solid in our roles and what we need to do as a team," he added.
India are coming off the back of a 3-0 whitewash in the Test series against Sri Lanka and their confidence must be high. Kohli was speaking ahead of the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Dambulla.
The heart of the matter
Kohli explained that the management believes in the core group of players but to become world-beaters, they need to do certain things that are ‘out of the box’.
The captain also gave an insight on what might be India’s combination in tomorrow’s ODI. He revealed that picking three spinners was out of question as the pitch was ‘probably a three-fast bowler kind of a pitch’. He added that Hardik Pandya will have an important role to play and can give a good 7-8 overs.
When asked which two spinners will get the nod for the match, Kohli responded saying that all three spinners were very skilled. He said that with two wrist-spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, in the team, they have an advantage over other top teams in the world. However, the decision would only be taken in the morning.
The five-match ODI series between India and Sri Lanka gets underway tomorrow. Later on this year, Australia and New Zealand are scheduled to visit India.
Adapting to limited overs cricket straightaway after a Test series is sometimes very difficult. Kohli’s comments indicate that he doesn’t want any complacency to creep into the team. Also, it is apparent that he has his sights set on the World Cup two years later.