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Kohli wants to set benchmark before ICC 2019 WC

News Agencies | Updated on: 3 October 2018, 17:47 IST

Feeling rejuvenated after shredding mental and physical fatigue in two recent tours to South Africa and England, Indian skipper Virat Kohli is adamant on setting a benchmark ahead of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

India are all set to play two-match Test series against West Indies at home from October 4.

Kohli, who is upbeat about the induction of a fresh pool of talent at the top of the batting order, stated, "Youngsters like Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Aggarwal have not only performed well in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but have also shown great intent in the domestic circuit. They should take this selection as an opportunity and not feel any pressure."

Commenting on the experienced spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the swashbuckling batsman said, "Ashwin and Jadeja have showcased some exceptional performances in the past. They will replicate it in this series as well."

Kohli, however, dodged the question about the frequent tinkering in the team selection, saying, "There is a team of selectors, who are completely capable of doing their job."

Quashing all rumours about skipping the Asia Cup, he clarified, "People refer to workload as the number of games played but it is independent of the number of matches played. If you get out for a duck, there is no fatigue, but if you bat for more than 6 hours, you will need rest. The decision to take rest was taken in conformance with the trainer and physio. I had a back pain once in South Africa and then again in England. As the World Cup is nearing, giving ample rest to players is important as we don't want players breaking down at crucial stages."

Reflecting the team's preparedness for the marquee even next year, Kohli said that the team is looking to improve in every aspect of the game.

"As a team, we need to improve in various aspects. The contributions at the top and lower orders are more important. The middle order is hinged on the top and lower order. England won because their lower order showed resistance," Kohli said.

The 2019 Cricket World Cup is slated to be held in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.


First published: 3 October 2018, 17:47 IST