The Indian team will embark on the tour to Ireland and England. They are scheduled to play 2 T20Is in June against Ireland and then will move to England to play 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and five Test matches from July to September 2018.
The five-match Test series will give an opportunity for the Indian team to solidify their position as the number one Test nation by winning the series. It will also give a rejuvenated Virat Kohli, who has recovered neck injury he suffered at the end of IPL 2018.
During a pre-tour press conference, Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli addressed the media and said, “Our strategy will be the same as it was during the tour to South Africa, Sri Lanka. The mindset doesn’t change on the basis of one series. We have patience and the focus is on how to win matches.”
“Our endeavor in every series will be the same. We won’t change any strategy because we are playing in any other nation. For us, an opposition is an opponent. Our aim is to strive for consistency,” added Shastri.
The Indian skipper said about his injury, “I am 100 percent fine now and absolutely ready to go. My neck is fine now. I’ve had good practice & played 6-7 sessions in Mumbai. Breaks like these make you fresh mentally. It has made me excited to go back on to the pitch again.”
He continued, “In hindsight, not playing county cricket was the best thing to happen at that moment although I wanted to experience the conditions. England is a place where we haven’t played so much, there is a big gap of four years. So I wanted to acclimatize to the damp conditions.”
“But when I look at it now, attempting to get used to conditions with a 90 percent fit body wasn’t a good idea. Glad I missed it. Now I am 110 percent and I would much rather be in this position. I need to be fresh and that was the best thing to happen,” he said further.
“Every series is important. Every game is home game for us because we play the pitch and not the opponent. The boys know they will be rated if they attack the conditions and perform well,” Shastri said at the team’s press conference.
While Kohli said, “When we were playing the Test series in South Africa, initially people thought we were outplayed but then the third Test happened and it was followed by the limited overs matches. People can’t see the small things but we as a team know how we did. We are a team looking forward to traveling to other countries and perform.”
“People have forgotten the Champions Trophy was also played in England. I was asked what I would when I landed there, and I said I wanted to walk around the streets with a cup of coffee. My thinking is very different,” Kohli was quick to remind when asked about previous two tours to England.
“This is a team game. It doesn’t matter how I perform or how one player stands out in the whole tour. We, as a team, have to play well. In the upcoming tour of England, our focus will be on how we can perform well as a team,” he further added.
Watch Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri in the press conference: