Cricket

Virat Kohli: Siraj is walking around knowing he can get anyone out


The England team will do well to avoid riling up the Indians. As seen in the second Test, any aggression thrown at the visitor is met with fierce resistance.

Ahead of the third Test, which commences at Leeds on Wednesday, India skipper Virat Kohli stated that provocation from the opposition only sharpens the focus of his men.

“I cannot give you the details of the words that were spoken (during the second Test). I think it is for the cameras and the stump mics to pick it up. What’s said on the field gives you extra motivation to get together as a team even more strongly. It gives you absolute clarity on what you need to do. When you are playing competitive sport, these kinds of things happen, but what matters is how you react to that situation,” Kohli said in a media interaction on Tuesday.

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Kohli stated that there was no reason to change the playing eleven, which got the job done at Lord’s in style. The skipper, however, mentioned that off-spinner R. Ashwin – yet to get a game this series – could be considered.

“You don’t want to disturb or interrupt a winning combination, especially when the team has achieved such an incredible win. The players are even more excited to take the field again, and do the things that we really enjoyed doing,” Kohli said.

India skipper Kohli said Siraj’s confidence makes him flamboyant.   –  AP

The pitch may not be as seamer-friendly as expected, Kohli said, giving rise to the possibility of Ashwin getting a game. “We were quite surprised to see the pitch. I thought there would be more grass on the pitch and that it would be more spicy and lively. Anything is possible. We will have a look at the pitch, and what it could become on day three, day four, and accordingly, we will go with the right combination,” Kohli said when asked about Ashwin’s chances.

Kohli was all praise for fast bowler Mohammed Siraj, who bowled with fire to claim eight wickets at Lord’s. “I was not surprised at all with his growth because I have seen him from close quarters (Siraj and Kohli are teammates at RCB). He always had the skill. You need the confidence to back that skill, and the Australia series provided him with that boost. Siraj is walking around knowing he can get anyone out at any stage. The belief in his game has been elevated to another level,” he said.



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