‘Keeping ‘19 WC in mind, need to assign specific roles’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Aug 2017 10:15:06


Aug 19,


INDIA captain Virat Kohli wants specific roles for certain players keeping a two-year time frame leading upto the 2019 World Cup, in mind. “For us, it is about the time frame. It is not about which opposition we are playing. You can’t pick and choose. I have never believed in that and we as a team don’t believe in that,” Kohli said when asked about whether he will use players depending on the opposition.

“Two years to go for the World Cup and now is the time to give players certain roles to get into the groove and understand what we need to do,” said Kohli. The skipper confirmed that KL Rahul is a certainty in that middle-order while Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey will be fighting for the remaining middle-order slot. “KL will definitely be playing in the middle-order. We are not going to be predictable or have a set pattern anymore in terms of what we are going to do in ODI or T20 cricket. Anyone could go anywhere. That’s what we are looking to do,” said the skipper.He indicated that Pandey may have to wait.

“Someone like Manish, he has done well and has grabbed his opportunities. He has got a hundred in Australia as well, and we know about his talent and what he brings onto the field as well. He is a superfit guy and has a bright future ahead of him. So he will certainly be backed. “All three guys (including Kedar Jadhav) will have to compete for two spots in the middle-order. There are no guarantees I would say.

As long as there is healthy competition, everyone will keep pushing each other and that is healthy for Indian cricket,” the skipper opined. “Shikhar Dhawan is an impact player. Shikhar and Rohit, we know what they have done (achieved) in the past together. We understand their potential also Jinks (Rahane’s nickname) understands that at this stage, he is the third opener in the team,” said Kohli.
Kohli conceded that Rahane has been shuffled in the batting order, which has been a tad unfair.

“We certainly back him (Rahane) because he has been shifted around a bit in the batting order, which is not healthy for a guy, who likes to open in the shorter format. See, he grabbed his opportunities in the West Indies and he was man-of-the-series and he continues to be in the set up.
“I think he (Rahane) is much more relaxed after that West Indies series. Yes he felt the pressure before but he has overcome that now.”