"No Point wasting two days with practice game" - Virat Kohli defends team's decision

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"No Point wasting two days with practice game" - Virat Kohli defends team's decision

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SportsCafe Desk

12/31/2017

Virat Kohli has stated that there was no reason wasting time by playing against local bowlers in practice matches and that was the main reason why India canceled their warm-up tie. He added that India have convinced themselves that it's going to be much quicker and much bouncier this time around.

Instead of playing a warm-up match to acclimatize to the difficult South African conditions, India canceled their warm-up tie and picked up three net bowlers to go with them to South Africa. India have opted for two high-intensity training sessions at the Western Province Cricket Club yesterday. The decision to cancel the warm-up match also received the backing of the Indian skipper, who stated that it was useless to waste time on something as mundane as a practice match.

"If you look at the wicket that we are playing on right now, it's not even 15% of what we are going to get in the game. We understand that. There's no point wasting two days, guys going in, scoring quick fifties and coming out. We'd rather have them do two sessions like today, get into Test match zone, test ourselves, try and prepare the wickets the way we want to,” Virat Kohli said, at the team's first media engagement since arriving in the country two days ago.

"If you're playing a two-day game, there's no room to change the wicket at different times of the day. Here we have the freedom to put more water on the wicket, roll it, make it harder, come tomorrow's practice session and then we have conditions that we want. You are never sure of whether you are going to get quality practice games or not. We would rather have practice sessions that is in our control, done the way we want to run them."

The wickets in South Africa will, of course, be a sporting wicket with plenty of pace, bounce and seam movement. It can even be more given when the last time South Africa toured India, in 2015, the visitors were decimated by the rank turners. So Kohli expects a bit more complicated wicket this time around.

"We come to South Africa knowing the wickets will be different from back home. The last time that we played, there was a lot of talk about us getting bounced out and struggling against the short ball," he said.

"The most important thing is not to get surprised by the pace and bounce. We have convinced ourselves that it's going to be much quicker and much bouncier than back home and you are going to get balls that may surprise you every now and then. The most important thing is to put it in the past, put it behind you and focus on the next ball. That's something that we did last time as well. You can't afford to think there is too much pace and bounce. You rather take it on, believe in your abilities and take it head on. That's key to playing conditions that are different from your own."

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