The match ahead
India will be facing West Indies on Thursday where we’ll see captain Virat Kohli for the first time after being rested and missing the Asia Cup 2018 tournament. Ahead of the series, Virat talked about the team. He said that the top order needs to be sorted while there will also be enough space for new youngsters to join and shine.
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 3, 2018
Currently, the new young face joining the team is 18-year-old, Prithvi Shaw. Virat has high hopes from Shaw as he will be opening with KL Rahul. During a pre-match press meeting, Kohli discussed the matter of the top-order. He said that the top-order has changed and will be giving the boys enough space and chances to feel comfortable. The aim here is for them to be confident in what they are doing.
Kohli continued talking about the lower-order. He said that they are just there for contribution. No change was needed there as the likes of Ashwin and Jadeja have always had consistently good performances. The only thing they need to do is replicate their stellar performances when they play on the home turf during matches abroad.
The playing XI
A well-known fact about captain Virat is that he always changes the playing XI ahead of any match. This aspect was heavily criticized after the two back to back series losses, first in South Africa then in England.
Virat always stood by this process and defended it yet again by saying; you always need the best XI. Most of the changes made to the playing XI in the past were to the bowling combinations, he said. He also added that they never changed the batting order in the past. The playing XI was always decided based on the conditions.
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 4, 2018
Changing or tinkering with the playing XI after analyzing the playing condition, had let the team use players better suited for those conditions, Kohli explained. This is the reason why team India was able to always pick up 20 wickets. The bowling unit has been sorted but as seen in England, the batting isn’t up to the mark, Kohli said.
The new faces
Talking about the new faces joining the team in the top-order, Kohli said that they have a chance to show off their skills and get into a grove. On talking about his rest Kohli said he felt rejuvenated and not just physically but also mentally.
'If I get zero in a game, that is not workload. If I bat for six hours, that is workload'
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 3, 2018
He also tried to clear the concept of ‘workload’ as many people get it wrong. Kohli said that people think players need a break after a lot of workload meaning the number of matches they played. But if a player scored zero in every match, his workload is zero. He also added that managing the workload of players will be given top priority ahead of the 2019 World Cup.