Indian team is gearing up to face the two-time and current T20 World Champions West Indies in a series of three T20Is starting December 6. The first match will be played in Hyderabad and Indian skipper Virat Kohli fielded questions from journalists on the eve of the match.
Indian team is ranked fifth in the official ICC T20I team rankings and Kohli defended the ranking saying that since they have been experimenting by giving youngsters a run in the team, they have not been able to field their strongest XI yet.
He mentioned that the priority is to build a pool of players keeping the upcoming T20 World Cup 2020 in mind. “We need to focus on batting first and defending low totals as well. Those are two things that we need to really focus on. T20 is a format where you can experiment a lot more than ODIs and Tests,” Kohli told reporters.
“You want to give chances to the youngsters in the shortest format, we have not played the strongest eleven together in T20Is so rankings cannot be considered. We have the mindset that we will not focus on the rankings. Now heading into the T20 World Cup, we need to take our best team to the field, we would probably be playing our strongest eleven going into the World Cup,” he added.
Kohli had missed out on the Bangladesh T20I series as he took a breather from constant cricket he has been playing. India had defeated Bangladesh 2-1 under the leadership of Rohit Sharma. “I have come back into the side so it is my responsibility to take control of the middle-order. One individual needs to bat long and others need to play with a good strike-rate. Batting positions don’t matter in the shortest format, it is just about getting the job done,” Kohli said.
Kohli also seemed to be happy with the spin options he has in the team in Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ravindra Jadeja. “Having two wrist spinners is a big advantage when you are playing in Australia as they have big fields. You need to have six bowling options in T20 cricket, I think that is the balance we need to create, there can be an opportunity to play two wrist spinners, but we need to find a way to work around that. Jadeja is in his best phase as an all-rounder, we are happy with how our options are placed. T20 cricket is all about being flexible,” said Kohli.