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As Cup progresses, pitches will deteriorate: Virat

A total of 250 can be defended in this World Cup, Kohli said

By TT Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 24.05.19, 2:56 AM
  • Updated 24.05.19, 2:56 AM
  • 2 mins read
Eoin Morgan and Virat Kohli during the captains’ media conference in London on Thursday. (AP)

The recent ODIs in England saw totals of 350 or more scored and even chased down with ease.

But India captain Virat Kohli feels scoring will be harder in the World Cup with pitches deteriorating as the tournament progresses.

A total of 250 can be defended in this World Cup, Kohli said during the captains’ media conference in London on Thursday.

“England seem obsessed with getting to 500 before anyone else and there is a lot of talk about someone doing it in this tournament. But in a World Cup, things are totally different.

“As the tournament goes on, scoring will become harder and pitches will deteriorate. If a side bats first and gets 260 or 270, then that will be hard to chase down. I promise you, you will see 250 defended in this tournament.

“Chasing those totals will be almost as hard as chasing a 360 or 370 outside a World Cup. Not all teams will win matches early on and some won’t be in good positions. They will need results and when you need to apply pressure, teams may play a bit more conservatively. It won’t be gung-ho from ball one,” the skipper said.

Kohli was all praise for England pacer Jofra Archer, saying the Barbados-born all-rounder could be the X-factor of his team giving them an additional edge in the World Cup.

“He (Archer) is a world-class bowler and there’s a good reason why he has been fast-tracked into playing for England in the World Cup. He has the X-factor and bowls with a skill set that is very different from everyone.

“I've seen him the last couple of years in the IPL. It’s going to be really exciting to see him. He has a lot of pace and is a great athlete, and the England team will be excited.

“I’ll be watching him as well because from what I’ve seen, he has really impressed,” Kohli said.

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan is an X-factor bowler according to Kohli. “Rashid’s variations are very subtle and he just doesn’t give you any time at all.

“He brings the fast bowler’s intensity to spin bowling. He’s going to be very important for Afghanistan.”

Ranked second in the world, India are also among the favourites to lift the trophy, but Kohli knows they need to be more ruthless if they are to win the Cup for the third time. Kohli also expects greater concentration from his team, especially after India lost the five-match ODI series to Australia despite leading 2-0.

“We learnt a lot from that. We thought we would win at least one from the final three, but we let it slip and Australia showed us what can happen if you really believe. They showed more passion and character than we did and we know we need to bring that here.

“England are the strongest side, but all 10 are well-balanced and strong.

“For me, it is a great honour to captain India in the World Cup. There will be nerves, but we believe in ourselves and we know we have a good squad. Now it’s time to deliver.”

Kohli pointed out that focusing on any other opponents and their strengths and weaknesses could be a deterrent, as it’s better for his players to direct their attention to their own skill set.

“In the World Cup, you look at the first four-five games you play because you are going to play nine (in the round-robin format) and it’s about how you prepare.

“We don’t single out any games because all teams are strong. If we play good cricket, we are going to be in a good position. There are too many things to focus on the other teams. But we want players to focus on their skills, turn up on the day and hopefully have that skill set better than the opposition,” he said.