Adelaide: India skipper Virat Kohli has said that the pink-ball Test, which will be the opening match of the four-game series against Australia beginning Thursday, is exactly the opposite of a normal Test match and is difficult to be pre-planned as it has many variables. Kohli on Wednesday added that they will have to react to situations as the game unfolds at the Adelaide Oval.
“I think you can get a fair idea about how you want to go about things. I don’t think you can concretely plan anything in Test cricket. Test cricket is always about encountering situations and reacting to the situations to the best of your abilities — understanding when to attack, to defend, when to bat through…the pink-ball Test brings a lot more variables like the twilight period, a tricky period to bat in, then bowling in the first session (is tough) and then at night you have more on offer for the bowlers,” said Kohli, who led India to a 2-1 Test series win last year.
“Actually it is the other way around when you compare it with the normal Test match something we have to analyse and monitor as we go into the Test match and as we encounter the situation changing and unfolding. We are actually ready to be able to come up with our plans into any situation we face. It is important to plan but you can’t pre-plan anything, especially in a Test which is the pink-ball Test with so many variables,” he added.
The right-handed batsman, who has six centuries in 12 Tests in Australia, hinted that KL Rahul, who has opened in the past, can play at any position and also confirmed that Rohit Sharma will open once he re-joins the team in the later part of the series.
“KL (Rahul) is obviously a quality player and hence he has been included in the Test squad. As I said we have a lot of quality players, someone like Hanuma Vihari. He has been absolutely solid. He is someone who has grit and character. KL (Rahul) was brought into the side understanding that we do have opening options already and when Rohit comes back into the team we have another opener who is already established and is going to start,” said the Indian skipper.
“So KL, where he fits and how he fits, is a conversation that we will have to monitor closely. We have to bring our best squad to Australia and then whatever combination you want to go in with which is the best suited for the team’s balance, according to the conditions you want to go forward with,” he added.
The 32-year-old is also looking forward to youngsters like Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw who he thinks won’t have baggage from the past to carry and can play freely.
“Mayank (Agarwal) performed the last time we came here and he batted brilliantly without any baggage. That is what you expect from the young guys, just go out there — they have no baggage from the past — and express themselves and put the team in strong position and play the brand of fearless cricket along with being calculated and reading situations. It is exciting to have young guys as I said who can play more freely,” said Kohli.
According to Kohli, both Gill and Shaw are “very talented”.
“They are obviously very, very talented players, that is why they are here. Shubman obviously hasn’t got opportunities at this level yet in Test cricket. As and when he gets opportunity, it will be interesting to see because he is obviously a confident young man, Prithvi has performed at Test level but he will be playing in Australia for the first time. But it is exciting to see his progress,” the India captain said.
He also said that it important for senior players to take the load and responsibility.
“(With youngsters we) Just tell (them) to go there and enjoy their skill sets and when they have the opportunity to capitalise as much as possible for the team. And let the senior guys take more responsibility and load of what comes playing a Test match and a full Test series. It is pretty exciting. Looking forward to it and we are confident about them,” said Kohli who will return to India after the first Test to be with his wife Anushka Sharma who is expecting their first child.