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Virat Kohli hints at inclusion of Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the match against South Africa

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 5 June 2019, 12:53 IST

Due to the state of affairs in Southampton, The Indian team management may be forced to add an extra pacer in a match against South Africa in their opening World Cup game, indicated captain Virat Kohli.

Inclusion of Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the playing XI looks more imminent than before, skipper Virat Kohli gave an open ended reply to the various questions on possible team combinations.

There are indications that Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be picked ahead of Mohammed Shami, though there are no conformation with regards to that. In which case Vijay Shankar will replace Kedar Jadav to share the duties of the third seamer with Hardik Pandya

"We know it is a different situation in England when there is a cloud cover and when there is sun out. With two new balls, if the pitch has something to offer, then an extra seamer comes into the play big time. But even on a good pitch, on a batting-friendly pitch with two new balls, I foresee the first 10 overs to be challenging if there is cloud cover," Kohli said, dropping a broad hint on Bhuvneshwar's possible inclusion.

Although Bhuvneshwar is good with the bad but the pitch that favours the pacers may be the reason behind the inclusion on an extra seamer to the team, in which case fully fit Jadhav will be rested.

"I think it will definitely be challenging, starting at 10.30 am in the morning for the batsmen and that is something that we have discussed and we have recognized how to go about it, what are the plans heading into being a bit more solid in that particular phase," said Kohli

"And from the bowling point of view as well, even if you play with two spinners, two seamers or three seamers, they are going to be in the game in the first half if you start at 10.30 am. The dynamics will change from morning to afternoon big time and the bowlers will have to adapt very quickly to that," he said.

Jadhav's all-round abilities always keeps him in the mix, insisted Kohli.

"Kedar is batting in the nets now and he is hitting the ball well, so it is always nice to have him back in the mix because of the variety he brings into the side. Looking at the pitch, we will have discussions over what the balanced combination will be, but I think we are equipped to handle all kinds of conditions here," added Kohli

First published: 5 June 2019, 12:53 IST