Virat Kohli: Hardik Pandya has a Great Chance of Playing, India Vs Sri Lanka

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

So, here’s the Indian team is ready for the test matches battle against the Sri Lanka. Three Test matches will be played between India and Sri Lanka. The Indian captain Virat Kohli has preferred to go with five bowlers and Virat thinks that Hardik Pandya fits into the 5 five bowlers.

Previously in 2015 series, India had lost to Sri Lanka at Galle, when Virat Kohli went in with 5 bowlers with a batsman short in the playing eleven. But the presence of Hardik Pandya, who bowls close to Km per hour and he is an efficient batsman. Which provides Virat Kohli balance in the playing eleven.

Kohli explained that “Last time, we felt probably were a batsman short and the fifth bowler did not do much in the game. We have those options again, but we have great balance in the side as well. We have got a guy like Hardik Pandya, who is a wicket taking bowler.”

“Every Game that he plays, on any surface, he has a knack of picking wickets. He has a great chance of playing as well,” said Kohli.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli in a press conference

Kohli also referred to how Stuart Binny’s contributions became valuable in next 2 matches that India won in 2015. “In the next 2 test on that 2015 tour, we played an all-rounder (Binny) and that made all the difference. The extra batsmen’s would give us more solidity. We have taken learning from that and we will surely apply those straightaway in the series instead of getting a feel of how things will go. You need to have your best strike bowlers in order to pick up 20 wickets.”

Indian Skipper observed, “There is a good grass covering and we expect it to be a good batting wicket. It was rolled yesterday (on Monday) and I am sure today (Tuesday), it would have been rolled in very nicely as well. And underneath the surface, it looks very hard. There is grass covering on it to keep the surface bound up and it should be a very good batting track.”

For an opening batsman, Virat Kohli selected the Abhinav Mukund with Shikhar Dhawan, in the case of KL Rahul.

“Rahul is an established player and he has done very well for us in all formats over the past years. He is a very solid player, but these kinds of scenarios present opportunities to other players in the team to set up and show what they are capable of.”

He also said, “They can have a solid performance and stay with the team for a longer period and get more chances to play in the future. So, our players look at these scenarios as opportunities and it is a great opportunity for Abhinav or Shikhar to string in strong performances again.”

“It is difficult to keep the players positive when they are injured. I have also been injured recently and it’s a not a nice feeling. The only thing you can do is to accept the reality and know what needs to be done. There is not much you can do apart from doing rehab and all those sort of things.”

Hardik Pandya all-rounder
Hardik Pandya all-rounder

“Things (viral fever) is not an injury (for Rahul) and I am sure he is not that disappointed. He has had a major surgery and he has been able to come back.  So three-four days more will not make a difference to him because he batted well really in the practice game and he is really looking forward to stepping back on to the field.”

“He (Herath) is a quality bowler. Last time, he really dented us in that small chase. It’s something that actually was a great eye opener for us. We worked on those things in the next 2 games and we were able to win the series. He played both the games and the ball was still doing a bit.”

Indian skipper concluded, “I think our batsmen came up with the goods and they had the counter plans in place. So we understand what he brings to the tables and understands what needs to be done.”

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