When asked about Virat Kohli's bad performances in the past in England this is how he responded

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IPL has broken barriers with English players, insists Virat Kohli

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SportsCafe Desk

07/03/2018

Virat Kohli has insisted that the participation of English players in the Indian Premier League has increased the warmth and has broken barriers between the players of both nations. Kohli stated that he does not have any individual goals and only wants the team as a whole to perform well.

The participation of English players in the IPL has only increased the "warmth" among rival players but on the field, India skipper Virat Kohli would be expecting a high intensity battle between both teams during the long tour beginning on Tuesday. While Jos Buttler stood out amongst the English players in the IPL, Kohli said the league has helped them break the ice and know their rivals better.

"It (the IPL) is going to make relations between the two teams even better. I think because England haven't played so much IPL cricket, there was never that familiarity or that sort of warmth between the two teams as much as we have with the other teams," said Kohli as quoted by TOI on eve of the first T20 of the three-match series.

"Purely because we didn't know the guys enough to be able to have conversations with them. I think this season has broken that barrier to a great extent. I heard lot of people are keen to go and play and they should. Why not, it's a great league to play in. As Jos has been saying for months now, it has done great things to his mindset and he's taking that on in every format," Kohli was all praise of the England batsman.

India had it easy against Ireland but England would be a tough side to beat. Over the last three years, England have resurrected their limited-overs' fortunes and have been one of the most attacking outfits in ODIs/T20Is in world cricket currently.  

"It doesn't matter, if you are batting first, whether you have 170 or 230 on the board. The opposition has to get in. If you have a target in mind or in front of you, then you play accordingly. We have enough T20 experience to know what to do when," he said about England's penchant for high scores.

On the personal front, Kohli did not have a great time in England four years ago. He had only managed to score 134 runs in the 10 Test innings he played and averaged 13.4. Regardless of which, he has not set a target for himself and insisted that team performance would be top most priority.  

"Surprisingly or funnily, I don't think from fans' or outside point of view. Even when we came here for the Champions Trophy, that was the first question that was asked and my reply was, I am just looking forward to having a good time here. It doesn't matter whether I get runs or don't get runs,” he said. "What I want is the team to play well and the team to win. Obviously you want to perform as an individual. But I haven't set any benchmarks or targets and come here to do certain things which have to be special just because the last tour here, I came on didn't go well."

Keeping the 2019 World Cup in mind, Kohli added that India would keep experimenting on the tour.

"With that major tournament coming, it gives you an opportunity to test your bench strength, try out fringe players and test their characters as well. We are certainly going to try a lot of cricketers as well in the T20 matches, test their characters, test their skills and work out accordingly who will be the next lot to come in, especially to the limited overs format and from there on, they can build on it and play Test cricket as well."

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