India vs Pakistan cricket match CT2017 – Addressing the media ahead of the opening clash against neighbors and foes Pakistan, Indian captain Virat Kohli said that the team management was spoilt for choices as far as the bowling lineup goes, terming it a ‘good headache to have’.”I think that’s been on my mind in the last five or six days. The most out of anything else, you know, who to play, because in both the warm-up games all the guys have bowled beautifully and the attack looks really balanced. But how they come into the equation, as apart from an all-rounder, you can only play four bowlers,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference.
“There are all kinds of possibilities we played with two spinners, two fast bowlers, three fast bowlers, Hardik and a spinner all according to the wicket and what we feel is going to match up well against the opposition. The intensity was right up during warm-ups matches, and that’s something that was really nice to see for me as a captain. It’s a good headache to have,” said Kohli.
India played both their warm-up matches at the Oval, thouugh their first match against Pakistan will be played at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Asked how the players were preparing for the pressure game against arch-rivals Pakistan, the skipper predictably dismissed the game as any other, saying both he and his players wanted to focus on the cricket. However, he did add that because they did not play Pakistan very often, there could be a few surprises.
“As a team, I think, yeah, they can surprise you because, as you said, you don’t play against them so much. But you know of their abilities. So you are not too aware of how they react in different situations. All you can do in that situation is focus on your skill, which anyway you should do as a team,” he said.
Kohli also took the time out to dismiss speculation of a rift between him and head coach Kumble, reported widely by the Indian media.
“There are a lot speculations and lot of things being written by people without actually being part of the change room which is quite strange. There are no problems whatsoever,” was the curt answer Kohli had when quizzed about the rumored incident.
Regardless of what the skipper is willing to admit, the pressure will be on him and his players when they take the field on Sunday to start their title defence against a team they have not played in over a year. It will be interesting to watch what combination Kohli and the management opt for in the game, whether it will be two pacers and two spinners with Pandya, or three pacers with two spinners. It also remains to be seen if the effectiveness translates to good performances when it actually matters. However, the team is oozing confidence, and with history and recent form on their side, they will look to make short work of their South Asian rivals.