Kohli believes all-rounders are key to any team’s success


CHENNAI: India captain Virat Kohli prefers five specialist bowlers in Tests but keeping in mind the 2019 World Cup, he hinted that a combination of three bowlers and two bowling all-rounders would be adequate.

“A lot of teams are heading that way. You need depth in batting, you need depth in bowling as well. I think those two all-rounders provide that kind of balance to you. That’s why we have someone like Hardik or Axar in the team. Or Jadeja… he is a proper left-arm all-rounder. You need to identify at least two of those guys for your side to have more strength in both the departments,” said Kohli at a press conference before the first ODI against Australia here.

“You need a proper all-rounder and not a bowling and a batting all-rounder. It paid dividends in the last series as well and that’s something we will look to continue as it gives us good balance,” said Kohli. The India captain also said there was no question of seeing the visitors in different light after a relatively easy tour sweep against Sri Lanka.

“I don’t think that we need to look at any series differently. You can’t raise or decrease your intensity according to who you are playing against. That’s not being fair to the sport and that’s something that we as a team do not believe in. So, we like to prepare the same way and we like to play with the same kind of intensity regardless of who we are playing,” he said.

This ODI series is gaining hype in light of the tension and controversy during the Test rubber earlier this year but Kohli isn’t willing to indulge in it. “You can say what you want, you can keep talking the whole time but if you don’t deliver on the field it doesn’t matter. All those things are to get that aspect of mind games which I think creates an excitement for the fans watching as well,” he said.

Talk of having two wrist spinners in the side got Kohli excited but he kept his cards close to his chest regarding the bowling combination for Sunday. “It is a great advantage to have two wrist spinners in your team, especially when both are so different to each other and both can pick wickets in the middle-overs. Those two guys have provided that to us and they are very confident coming into this series,” he said.