Indian skipper Virat Kohli said he will continue to play all three formats of the game for at least three more years and then take a decision on his workload as he approaches retirement.
“My mindset is on the bigger picture as I prepare myself for a rigorous three years from now and after that we might have a different conversation,” Kohli said in a press conference ahead of the first Test against New Zealand starting Friday.
The Indian captain did not shy away from a question about workload management.
“It’s not a conversation you can hide away from in any manner. It is around eight years now that I have been playing 300 days a year, which includes travelling and practice sessions. And intensity is right up there all the time. It does take a toll on you,” the batsman said.
The No.1 Test batsman feels that the next phase of his transition will start after the 2023 World Cup.
“I can keep going on with the same intensity and also understand that the team wants a lot of my contribution in the next two to three years, so that I can ease into another transition that we faced five-six years ago,” he said referring to the retirements of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
Kohli hints at playing XI
With Rohit Sharma suffering an injury in the T20I series, an opener’s slot has opened up for India’s Under-19 World Cup 2018 heroes Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill. However, the skipper hinted that Shaw is more likely to open the innings alongside Mayank Agarwal.
“Prithvi is a talented player and he has his own game and we want him to follow his instincts and play the way he does. Look, these guys have no baggage and are not desperate to perform in any manner,” he said.
Kohli also hinted at picking fit-again Ishant Sharma on a pacer-friendly Wellington pitch.
“He (Ishant) looked pretty normal and pretty similar to what he was bowling before the ankle injury. He is hitting good areas again and he has played (Test cricket) in New Zealand couple of times, so his experience will be useful to us. It was really good to see him bowling with pace and in good areas,” Kohli backed the veteran bowler.
He also revealed that he will go into the first Test of the two-Test series with one spinner in the side.
“If it had been a Johannesburg pitch, I could have said it’s a possibility (to play four pacers) but our team has that skill that we can bowl out other teams with only three fast bowlers,” he sounded confident.
“But you need one world class skillful spinner, who can take wickets on any pitch. We won’t copy the home team. We would rather figure out what is the most lethal combination, which gives us balance,” he added.
Kohli also lauded the current bowling attack as they have dominated the batsmen at home in the seven World Test Championship matches.
“As a bowling group it’s better than the one that came to NZ last time and that is why we have got so many teams all out in last two and half years. We would like to repeat that here also,” Kohli added.
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