Ahead of the white-ball series against Australia, Virat Kohli has revealed that the management definitely discussed giving opportunities to the youngsters in Australia, in front of crowds. He also stated that it is a no-brainer that they would have to give rest to Shami and Bumrah during the tour.
India are touring Australia, on the back of an entire edition of Indian Premier League, which has put the entire team on red-alert for their workload. While Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the series, it provides an opportunity for the youngsters in the squad to seal their spot in the playing XI and prove their talent. Alongside that, the management also would be wary about the workload of their two pacers - Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
Ahead of the series, in the pre-match press conference, Indian skipper Virat Kohli revealed that the management definitely discussed giving opportunities to youngsters through the white-ball series. He also admitted that it is crucial to give the youngsters a run in the series, which would help them learn about their own game and grow in confidence.
“Yes, we have definitely discussed at giving opportunities to younger players, who are really eager and waiting to get out on the park in Australia. To realise something new about their own game and grow that confidence. From that point of view, it’s an extremely important opportunity tour for them and from the management group, we have to give them the opportunity to play their brand of cricket. They are a bunch of very talented guys,” said Kohli in the pre-match press conference.
Kohli also stressed out on the importance of resting their two pacers - Shami and Bumrah some point during the white-ball series, adding that it’s a no-brainer to not look at their workload after they played an entire IPL season without much rest. He also added that it is one of the crucial aspects of captaincy to look at all the matters in hand, managing the youngsters and the workload of the players.
“Of course, it’s a no-brainer (to rest Shami and Bumrah) they have gone through a full IPL season, both of them have bowled beautifully. It would be important to monitor their workload, so the point about the younger guys getting a chance comes into play. You want to see how people react in different situations. You come for an Indian tour, you have to manage workload, youngsters performing on the field. That’s something that we have done well in the past and the reason that we have our pacers fit and ready. So that’s going to be a crucial factor, definitely.”
The 32-year-old Indian also expressed his excitement over seeing crowds back for the series against Australia, after crowds being not allowed during the recent IPL, owing to the COVID-19 restrictions. Kohli admitted that there is not a replacement for the crowd and the atmosphere that they create, which makes the series more enticing and exciting.
“Yeah it’s a great opportunity, everyone are really excited to start playing in front of crowds. It’s something that has been missing since we came back in action. But we also understand that we came back at a time when the things were getting better. The situation in Australia is a place where we are able to play in front of the crowd. I have certainly enjoyed playing in front of a crowd here and you can’t replicate this with anything. Ya, we are excited to get back to a stadium with fans.”
The Indian skipper also credited Australia for really utilising and maximising their home advantage with the crowd support, which he believes makes the country one of the hardest places to tour as a youngster. However, at the same time, he also reckoned that once you get past that stage, the Australian crowd are one of the most welcoming fans around the world.
“Australia really exercises and executes from the home advantage very well but if you perform in Australia you get a lot of respect from the local public and the fans watching. Then over a period of time, you understand that people here are very welcoming and nothing but respect. It is a beautiful country to play in, the weather is great and the challenge too is great.”