Though India is now touring the West Indies, Virat Kohli has stated that the preparations for the 2019 World Cup are already underway. Recently, India failed to defend their Champions Trophy title and the 28-year-old stressed that the experience of the tournament will benefit the team going forward.
The next Cricket World Cup is still distant given that, there is still almost two years time to go for the event. However, Kohli and his Indian team are leaving no stone unturned in their preparations for the same, as they have already started giving chances to new players in a bid to find the perfect squad.
For instance, for the ongoing series against the West Indies, India have rested opener Rohit Sharma and death over specialist bowler Jasprit Bumrah. In the place of the duo, Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav find themselves in the 15 man squad.
In the second ODI against West Indies, Kuldeep proved his worth as he picked 3 for 50 in 9 overs. And in the post-match presentation, the Indian skipper praised the young bowler and also clarified that more opportunities will be afforded to new faces, before finalising the team for next World Cup.
“A wrist spinner is always a bonus. Something that we have identified now in the series, so all kinds of options are open. When you talk about the 2019 World Cup, you got 15 players here, then you got a pool of 10-12 players ready back home, who will probably be tested in the next couple of years,” the Indian skipper said as quoted by Crictracker.
“See how they react in pressure situations, who is able to make most impact in the middle overs, especially for us with the ball so those are the things we need to identify as a side, something that we need to improve on, going ahead and figure out who the best guys are at the moment who are performing well under pressure.”
Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav have also been included in the Indian squad for the ongoing tour, and Kohli praised the duo saying that, they will be ready for their respective opportunities, as they have shown in the past. Kohli further backed them to perform well under pressure. “All depends on say guys like Hardik and Kedar, they haven’t got much game time in the recent past, so the more games they get under their belt and more experience they get, they are consistently striking every game, then as a middle order group, you can start going early,” the 28-year- old said.
“When you haven’t got too many pressure games behind you, then you know that these are the two guys who are the strongest at that particular position. It’s difficult to start going early, because if you lose wickets early, the equation becomes a little difficult,” he added.
Finally, when asked about the recent Champions Trophy experience, the Indian skipper claimed it will hold the team in good stead going forward. “From the Champions Trophy, you can say that we can look back and improve on those things but here with a bit of rain around, you are always careful of losing extra couple of wickets but yeah, from the Champions Trophy, we have taken that learning forward, something that with more experience in the lower middle order, we will start implementing that as well in the future,” Kohli concluded.