India skipper Virat Kohli has insisted that his batting order will have to be motivated to counter New Zealand pacer Trent Boult’s left-arm swing ahead of a crucial Group 2 match in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday.
Seen as a virtual do-or-die match, both India and New Zealand are looking to open their accounts in the tournament after losing their opening matches to Pakistan and keep themselves in the hunt for a spot in the semifinals.
“We obviously will come up against some quality bowlers all around the world in this competition. Hence, the intensity at which this tournament operates at is very different. We have played against these individuals for a long time. It is not something out of the ordinary that’s gonna come our way. It all depends on how we take the field mentally and how we counter that. If Trent says he wants to replicate what Shaheen did against us, then he is motivated to do so.
“We have to be motivated to counter that and put pressure on him and the other bowlers as well. So, that’s how the game goes,” Kohli said in the pre-match press conference on Saturday.
“We have played against all these bowlers for a long period of time. We understand exactly what we need to do. All that matters now is when we step on to the field, the mental frame we are in and absolutely confident of hitting that ball clearly and not thinking about any other scenarios. That’s the key to batting in high-pressure scenarios and it is something we are looking forward to execute as a team,” added Kohli.
Kohli acknowledged that dew will become a major factor in the tournament as it progresses but stressed upon the attitude of the team to counter that uncontrollable element in the game.
“It will continue to be a big factor and that is the nature of this tournament. You can look at this situation in two ways: you can bank too much on the toss or you can challenge yourself as a team to say ‘okay, even if we lose the toss, we are good to bat or bowl in any conditions’. That should be the attitude because you don’t have time in the shortest format of the game to think too much about what happened at the toss.
“Game goes away pretty quickly from you in two or three overs and can change the whole course of the game, as we saw in last game as well. For us, our only focus is how those eleven individuals are placed mentally how we are looking to approach this game. It’s been a long break for us. It’s been a lot of time waiting and just doing nothing, really for us a team. Now we are just itching to go back on the park and just be competing again to look to correct the things that didn’t happen well in the first game.”
The 32-year-old mentioned that Shardul Thakur is strongly in the mix for a place in the playing eleven.
“He’s definitely a guy who’s in our plans constantly, making a case for himself. He’s definitely someone who can bring a lot of value to the team. Now what role he plays or where he fits in, that’s something that I cannot talk about right now. Shardul is someone who’s got great potential and will add great value to the team.”
Kohli gave an update on fitness status of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who didn’t field after receiving a blow on the shoulder while batting against Pakistan. “Hardik’s fine. If you are talking about the blow on the shoulder, he’s absolutely fine.”
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