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England vs India: Kohli rules out 6th batsman

‘If your top six or seven don’t do the job, there’s no guarantee that the extra batsman will bail you out every time’

A Staff Reporter Published 29.08.21, 01:59 AM
Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli File picture

Tackling questions outside the comfort zone is something obvious for a captain, especially if his team has played poor cricket and suffered a crushing defeat inside four days. That left Virat Kohli annoyed though he tried his best not to show it.

The Team India skipper couldn’t help himself from saying: “Thank you, Sir. Ab lag raha hai cricket ke press conference mein aaye hain (Now it seems I’ve come for a cricket press conference)”, when asked on how to tackle the lengths bowled by the England quicks going forward in the series, towards the end of the post-match media conference.


Till then, questions were posed on whether India got the team combination wrong for the third Test, if they should bring in an extra specialist batsman for the next Test at The Oval that begins on September 2 so as to put the lower middle-order under less pressure and several others on similar lines. Responding to them in his own style, Kohli ruled out the possibility of India going in with six specialist batsmen and four bowlers.

In spite of what transpired at Headingley in Leeds, he still believes four pacers and a spinner lends the perfect balance to his team.

“I’ve never believed in that balance (six specialist batsmen and four bowlers), because either you can try to save a defeat or try to win the game.

“If your top six or seven don’t do the job, there’s no guarantee that the extra batsman will bail you out every time,” Kohli said on Saturday.

“You have to accept that as a team, you take responsibility and pride in doing the job for your side. If you don’t have the ability or the resources of taking 20 wickets going into a Test, you are then playing only for two results (draw or defeat). And that’s not how we play,” he pointed out.

Kohli, however, indicated that there could be a change in terms of the composition of their pace attack for the fourth Test.

Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja was on Saturday taken to a hospital in Leeds for precautionary scans to know the extent of a knee injury he sustained during the Test.

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