Indian skipper Virat Kohli is known for his aggression and straightforwardness on the field and curiously on this occasion it was BCCI which had to face the heat from the iconic cricketer who admitted that the team management had “no choice” but to obey orders even though the hectic schedule will affect team India’s preparations. It is perhaps for the first time that the Indian skipper has been so direct in castigating the board and its decisions. Kohli also targetted the board over the nature of pitches provided. On the question of whether the skipper had asked for preparing bouncy tracks for the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka to prepare the team for the South Africa series. Kohli replied in the affirmative. He added that the team will get only two days before it flies to South Africa after Sri Lanka series, so he had no choice but to ask for bouncy tracks. He also said that if the team had a month of preparation camp then it would have been ideal but since it was not, so the team had to do with whatever was available.
He added that everyone starts judging players on the basis of one Test match. Instead, there should be a fair game where the team gets the time to prepare the way it wants and then if the results are not satisfactory, the team can be criticised. That is why he thought that Sri Lankan series is an apt situation to challenge themselves by preparing bouncy tracks.
The Indian team will finish their limited overs engagements against the Islanders on December 24 (final T20) before they fly off to South Africa on December 27.
Kohli stressed the necessity to space out series as at times the team needs to do its preparation differently for bigger series.
Ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka starting from Friday, Kohli said “As usual cramped for time, which I think we needed to assess in future as well because we very easily assess the team when going abroad but we don’t look at how many days we have got to prepare before we go to a particular place to play.”
The skipper also made it clear that he can’t guarantee permanent first XI slots for Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja when the team travels abroad, where in all probability, a single spinner will be in operation. Kohli then explained the rationale that will decide whether to play Ashwin or Jadeja. He said that it is very important to understand if a left-arm spinner is bowling to five right-handers or the off-spinner is bowling to four left-handers. Just because of the angle the ball coming in makes so much difference against a spinner. And it can turn away from you at some stage in the Test match. Those are very minor factors that you assess before picking the first spinner in overseas conditions.