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Bunch of 20-25 players will make probable-list for 2019 World Cup, says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli has his eyes firmly fixed on the World Cup in England and the Indian captain wants to "address a bunch of 20-25 players", who will form the core group that will feature in the 2019 tournament.

By: Express Web Desk | Published: September 4, 2017 11:39 am
Virat Kohli, India vs Sri Lanka, World Cup 2019, Kohli India, sports news, cricket, Indian Express India beat Sri Lanka 5-0 to clinch a whitewash series win. (Source: AP)

With a dominating run under his belt, Indian skipper Virat Kohli is eyeing to make a core team for the 2019 World Cup that is scheduled to take place in England. The skipper has insisted that they “address a bunch of 20-25 players” who would become a part of the team for the biggest cricketing tournament.

“The best thing is transparency. We will address it and tell them that this is a bunch of 20-25 people, who will make the probable-list for the World Cup and everyone has an equal opportunity to be tested at different stages,” Kohli said.

“It’s going to be a challenge among all the bowlers and the spinners that are going to be in the part of the bigger group to make it to the 2019 World Cup. As I said, we don’t want to be predictable in any way and we want to have an X factor if possible with the bowling attack as well,” he added

Virat Kohli-led Indian team continued their winning streak in Sri Lanka after clinching a whitewash win against the home side on Sunday. India won the fifth and final ODI by 6 wickets in Colombo, courtesy a flamboyant ton from skipper Kohli. Talking about the team, Kohli suggested that his side is keen on working hard.

“The best thing about this team is they are very sporting and they accept things quickly, and embrace the challenges. They take it as a challenge rather than getting disappointed and sulking, start working hard on that aspect of their game and make it happen for the team. So I am quite lucky that I have a bunch of players that do not oppose anything that the management and me as captain address to them. It makes my job a lot easier,” explained Kohli.

“We will find the core group for World Cup quickly only if the guys perform in the next couple of big series coming up because then the mindset becomes different of taking anyone anywhere in the world. So I think those series will be very important for us to find the right balance as a team,” Kohli said referring to the upcoming Australia and New Zealand series.

India made few changes in the batting order in the five-match series against Sri Lanka and Kohli suggested that they are looking for batsmen who are flexible enough to bat any given position.

“We need to find an XI that is flexible enough to try different batsmen at different positions or play bowlers who can bat a bit, along with having the best fielding side on the park. We don’t want to be predictable till the lead up to the World Cup and in the World Cup. We want eleven guys who can bat at any stage, and chip in with overs at any stage. We want to remain unpredictable so there is no pattern to anything,” said Kohli.

Kohli appreciated the performance delivered by the spinners in the series and said, “The spinners were brilliant, all three of them. Axar Patel didn’t let the batsmen get on top of him. That’s a remarkable thing when you don’t have any variation in your bowling and you still don’t let guys score. I think it’s the height that really helps him getting that extra bounce and the extra pace he can generate. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal being wrist spinners will always keep you in the game. I certainly felt that all three of them were pretty spot on with attacking all the time.”

Hailing Jasprit Bumrah’s performance, the Indian captain credited the right-arm bowler for his abilities and congratulated him for getting the man of the match award.

“Jasprit has been our most effective short-format bowler in the last 18 months. He has really worked on his bowling a lot, especially his length ball has picked up more pace. That’s very heartening to see because it never lets the batsmen get settled. It’s not only about yorkers and slower balls any more. He can bowl a good length ball and nick you off as well, which I think is the biggest improvement in his bowling. Credit to him for shaping his game in that way. Getting a man of the series award in the subcontinent as a fast bowler, it’s always a great thing to achieve. He bowled in really good areas and he deserves to be the man of the series. I hope he can continue the same way against Australia,” Kohli

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