Mumbai: Indian Premier League is done and dusted, and the players’ holidays are too, as Indian cricket team is back to business as usual as they set off to Summer of 2019, for the ICC World Cup, the Cricket’s biggest extravaganza to be held in England & Wales from May 30.
For this team, staying focussed and handling pressure is the mantra of the Indian side which takes on South Africa in this mega event on June 5. “We will be focussed no matter who the oppositions are, and that would be the main weapon,” said Indian skipper Virat
Kohli on the of the eve of the teams’ departure to England, while addressing the media at the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) Headquarters, here on Tuesday. While the other teams in the fray are getting warmed up with bilateral series or other series against each other, it was holidays for Indians, which is a clear indication that they are Horse for Courses in England this summer.
“The only expectation everybody has is to play good cricket. We have had good IPL and the players have played a good game of cricket and keeping that in mind we will be expected to do well in the campaign,” said Virat Kohli. “Yes, it is always good to go to places well in advance and get used, and I think handling pressure would be the top on the priority list and this is World Cup stage and not Test cricket,” said Kohli about the World Cup campaign.
Talking about the side, the Indian skipper stated that all the players in the squad have made most of it during the IPL and it would be a good contest while agreeing that this edition appears to be high-scoring as it has been noticed during the England-Pakistan ODIs, and that would make it more challenging.
“This will probably be the most challenging World Cup for me, as all the teams will be playing each other, And there is no group stage any more and everyone has to come with his best in this contest and I believe it would be more challenging,” said Kohli.
“Any team can upset any side on their day. That’s one thing that we have in mind,” the Indian captain said, welcoming the round-robin format which he felt allowed teams time to regroup between games.Undoubtedly, Virat Kohli will be the fulcrum of India’s famed batting line-up that has a fair share of problems of its own.
The number four conundrum needs to be addressed in a unit that is not short of game-changers.“You can take motivation from anywhere when you talk about the Indian Army, if we can do anything for them, it will be the best,” Kohli added. “He will play a massive role,” is what the Indian coach Ravi Shastri had to say about MS Dhoni’s role in his 4th World Cup he will be playing.
“He has always been a force behind the side and I am sure he will deliver,” the coach added who represented the country in the 1992 edition of the championship. “If we play up to our potential the World Cup will be here,” coach Ravi Shastri said. “The pitches might be flat, in England overhead conditions will matter. If you go to London, it will. You have to be prepared to be flexible,” Shastri added. “This is an experienced unit, we have accomplished. Each one compliments each other,” Shastri added.
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik