Indian skipper Virat Kohli expects his side to play much more freely in the T20 five-game series against England, as the infusion of fresh blood provided much-needed ‘x-factor and depth’ to the batting unit, which it lacked in the past. .
Selectors chose IPL artists like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tewatia for the English series while the Rishabh shaped pants made a comeback.
While the IPL has yet to be played, Kohli believes another face or two could sneak into the squad ahead of the T20 World Cup at home in October, but finds the current squad full of balance and options.
“We have played with a certain type of model in the past. We didn’t have a big tournament to work on in the past. If you look at the squad, the additions we made, we tried to address some things that we needed in particular, ”Kohli said on the eve of the game, referring to Suryakumar and Kishan.
“Guys who can be ‘x factors’ with the bat and do things that are the need of the hour in T20 cricket. These guys did this regularly in the IPL, so we tried to cover all of those bases. Now it will be interesting to see how they play out in those five games. “
Having not had enough options in the past, Kohli is happy with what he has available to him now.
“These are the only five games we have as a team before the World Cup and we want to see how these guys do in the middle. I think the squad we have right now, with the exception of Jaddu, who will return when he gets fit, is the most balanced in terms of options available to take the pitch as and when needed.
The Indian team was guilty of playing one-dimensional cricket with the bat and struggled to accelerate after the first wickets fell. That should change now, Kohli believes.
“The players added to the squad is precisely to give our stick more depth and not to play in the same kind of pattern that we have played in the past. We want to be a team that plays freestyle cricket, with no lack of depth baggage or a guy who has to hit long enough to make sure we come up with a grand total.
“We have explosive guys on the team who can change the game at any stage and that’s exactly what we tried to solve.
“This time around you will see guys playing more freely, more expressive in terms of approaching the innings even after losing a few wickets which wasn’t the case to be honest because we didn’t have enough depth. in the stick to play freely. for about 10 to 12 overs, but I see a lot more positivity from this streak, ”Kohli said.
England players including Jos Buttler have called hosts India favorites to win the T20 World Cup later this year, but Kohli thinks otherwise.
“I actually think England will be the team to beat. They are the first party in the world and the focus will be on them. All other teams will be wary of their strength, what they bring to the park and would agree with what I say.
The series will also be a return for a fit Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who will be the oldest point guard in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami.
“Bhuvi is presenting himself really well. He is a smart operator as we have seen in the past. He has a clear understanding of what he wants to do and is one of our most experienced T20 bowlers. He’s the guy you can count on, so happy to find him, ”Kohli added.