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23/11/2017 
Have requested for conditions to prepare for SA series: Kohli
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After what was a great final session of Test cricket in Kolkata, with rain playing spoilsport through the opening Test, Sri Lanka managed to eke out a draw with India needing just three wickets for a victory. With the series poised at 0-0 going in to the next, India skipper Virat Kohli addresses the media in Nagpur ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka. Not difficult at all, because we pick a squad keeping in mind that all 15 are equipped with what is required to perform at the international level. These kinds of scenarios where two guys miss out for personal reasons is an opportunity for the guys who get games in these situations. I am not worried at all. I am very confident of the ability of the guys who will step in and they are looking at this as an opportunity to go out and do well for the team which everyone likes to do. I am not bothered. Obviously those two guys have made an impact in a lot of games for us. As I said, it provides an opportunity for others stepping in. As a captain of the team, my job is to assess the situation at all times. It is not only left to my positions while batting or where the bat is coming from or where I am leaving the ball or where I am hitting it. It is also to keep a check on what is going on in the game. That is something I relish, I enjoy, having to do a lot of things at one time. There was an opportunity to find the right moment to actually change things around. That is something that you want to do as a cricketer. Very seldom do you get to make a difference in a Test match in a short span of time. I look forward to opportunities like that. Everyone wants to bat long, everyone wants to bat well. Yes, in Test cricket you want to bat correctly with good technique. You will get those opportunities where you can make or set up a match for the team. Those are the kind of things we create as a team now. If you look at the past couple of years, everyone wants to step in and make an impact at times. We have won important sessions in all the Test matches that we have played. I looked at it as an opportunity. At the international level, you need to take risks. There is no safe game at the international level. You need an element of risk at all times. Depends on the magnitude of the risk depending on the situation that you are in. I was pretty comfortable taking risks. I knew I was thinking of the other side, not the negative side. What if it comes off. I was not thinking what if it doesn't come off. Thinking matters a lot in such situations, and whatever you think, as they say, you end up achieving that. I back myself to do it and luckily it came off. He has been very consistent. He has earned his spot. We wanted to look at another all-rounder keeping in mind that's a very important aspect of the team going forward. Obviously, Hardik (Pandya) is in our scheme of things as our first all-rounder But we need to, obviously, find out more people who have that capability and whom we can groom and make as back-ups for all-rounder's slot, which is very very crucial for us when we travel abroad. That is the whole idea of bringing him in and keeping him in the set up; making him familiar with what's going on here, making him understand what he needs to work on and look at his game as well. He is a pretty balanced cricketer, he is a very composed, he is handy with the ball, he can easily give you 10-12 overs a day and he is very solid with the bat. I just saw him at the nets. It's a big moment for him. He has earned it, as it said. The wicket is quite hard as it is usually at Nagpur with a nice grass covering on it. So, the fast bowlers should be in play for the first couple of days for sure, because of the bounce and the nice carry off it as well. From there on, the spinners will come into play. It is a pretty good wicket for overall Test cricket, I feel. I can't commit to that 100 per cent when we play abroad that we will be playing with two spinners to be honest. Because we need to have a look at the balance of the side as well. Obviously, those two guys with their batting abilities are both contenders to start a Test match depending upon the batsmen we are up against in the opposition because when you play on tracks which don't turn and bounce, it's very important to understand if the left-arm spinner is bowling to five right-handers or the offspinner is bowling to four left-handers. Just because the angle the ball coming in makes so much difference against a spinner. And it can turn away from you at some stage in the Test match. Those are very minor factors that you assess before picking the first spinner in overseas conditions but that's quite far away. But yes, we count them as all-rounders because they have proved themselves in different situations and they have made some very important contributions to the team. So they are no tailenders anymore, they are proper all-rounders. Their ranking does justice to that. They have really improved their games, it gives us good balance when we play both of them because when you play both of them, you can, if you want to, play an extra bowler as well. So that certainly gives us some cushion to play around. Yes, because unfortunately we get only two days before we fly to South Africa after this series gets over. So we have no choice but be in game situation and think of what's coming ahead of us. Had we got a month off ideally, we would have done a proper preparation in a camp sort of scenario, but we have to sort of make do with what we have. As usual cramped for time, which I think we needed to assess in future as well because we very easily assess the team when go abroad but we don't look at how many days we have got to prepare before we go to a particular place to play. And everyone starts judging players when results come after Test matches. It should be a fair game where we get to prepare the way we want to and then we are entitled to be criticised. So we thought this is an ample opportunity for us to challenge ourselves, put us in a situation... As I said, we want to embrace being in difficult conditions. I am not saying that everyone will go out and perform immediately but if we can feel comfortable about it after one or two or three innings, someone will come good. And once you come good, you build on that confidence. It's the same for the bowlers. Yes, we are looking at this as an opportunity. That wouldn't matter because, obviously you have to look at what you are playing at, what kind of wicket you are playing on and pick the team accordingly. I don't think the past record should matter a lot because you can see totally different wickets at venues when you play at different times. For example, the Ashes Test match going on right now doesn't seem to be the usual Gabba wicket that we see with lot of pace, bounce and carry. So, it all depends on what you are playing on and then select the team accordingly.







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