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Virat Kohli's fitting reply to critics on discussion over frequent changes made to playing XI

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 26 August 2019, 13:21 IST

Skipper Virat Kohli is aware of the fact that India’s playing XI in Test cricket are a subject of contention, but he continues to persist that all decisions are taken keeping in mind “best interest of the team”.

The men in blue beat hollow the West Indies side by 318 runs in the first Test of the three match series but at the onset, there was a discussion on the exclusion of veteran Ravichandran Ashwin. The Indian cricket icon Sunil Gavaskar dubed the oission as “astonishing”.

But Ravindra Jadeja rose to the occasion, smashing a prompt half century in the first innings along with some wickets substantiating Virat Kohli’s decision.


“We have a group discussion and then we decide what’s best for the team. There will always be opinions about the XI, but people will know that it’s in the interest of the team,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Virat Kohli’s decision of including Hanuma Vihari over Rohit Sharma also paid off wonderfully with the 25 year old smashing 93 in the second innings after scoring 32 in the first.

“Vihari got a nod because combination is important. He’s an effective part-time bowler and helps us when we need to catch up with the over-rate.” Just like white-ball cricket, Jasprit Bumrah’s form and fitness are paramount in the red ball set-up also. And the captain understands that only too well.

“Bumrah’s workload is most important which is why he didn’t play any white-ball games (vs WI) after the World Cup. He will be a key factor for us as long as the World Test Championship continues. “Shami is the same and Ishant is a banker, always reliable. Umesh is there too and Navdeep is waiting in the wings. We are settled as our bowling options, but managing workloads will be important,” Kohli said.


Virat Kohli was all praise for the man of the match Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 81 runs in the first innings and 102 in the second.

“Jinx excellent in both innings, KL solid in both innings too. Mention to Vihari too. We had to come back in this game 3-4 times, so that is a positive moving forward from Australia,” said the skipper.


The skipper, further stated that he is happy to be in a position where his team executes most of the decision take by him.

“I am taking decisions, yes, but execution is done by others who raise their hand. We enjoy everyone’s company, and that’s the reason for our success,” he said.


First published: 26 August 2019, 13:21 IST