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“We will have a different conversation” after three years – Kohli on quitting atleast in One format

The 31 year old Indian skipper Virat Kohli admits that fatigue and workload management are issues that need to be discussed at all forums. And also agreed that periodic breaks have worked well for him. He also states that he want to play all the three formats for three more years after 34 or 35 when his body can’t take anymore “we will have a different conversation”he said.

“Look it’s not a conversation that is to hide away from in any manner,” Kohli said. “I think it’s been eight or nine years that I have been playing almost 300 days a year with the travelling and practice sessions. And the intensity is right up there all the time. So it does take a toll on you. I am not saying that it’s not something the players are not thinking about.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Short breaks to players

Indian skipper Virat Kohli so far allowed to take seasonal breaks where he managed to recover from playing continuously.  He was rested for the T20I series against Bangladesh, and then took a break in one of the T20I match in New Zealand series.

“We do choose to take a lot more breaks individually even though the schedule might not allow you to,” Kohli said. “You are going to see a lot of that in the future from many players. Not just myself, especially from the guys who are playing all three formats. It’s not that easy. Then being captain and having intensity in practice session and discussing the game, so it does take a toll on you. So I am not in that space at the moment. So periodic breaks for me seems to work pretty okay. At a time when the body doesn’t respond as well, maybe when I am 34-35, you might have a different conversation at that stage. But for the next 2-3 years, I have no issues at all. Can keep going on with the same intensity and I also understand that the team wants a lot of my contribution in the next 2-3 years so that we can ease into another transition phase that we faced some 5-6 years ago. So the mindset is on the larger picture, and from that point, I am preparing myself for a rigorous three years from now. And then after that we might have a different conversation.”

Indian Skipper Virat Kohli
Indian Skipper Virat Kohli

World test championship

India leads in first position with a point of 360 in the World test championship which he feels has “made Test cricket more exciting”. Previously India played seven test matches and won all of them, out of seven five matches were played at home ground. But after the whitewash against New Zealand in ODI series it seems most difficult challenge to play against them. Later this year India face Australia in the test championship match.

“I think the series in South Africa was pretty interesting, with South Africa winning the first and then England winning the Cape Town won, the way they won in the last hour. I think you will see a lot more results like that because of the points that are on the line,” Kohli said. “I think Test Championship, as an ICC tournament should be right up there. All the other tournaments, for me, start under that. This is going to be the biggest of them all. And every team wants to make it to the final at Lord’s. And we are not any different. We want those points and make sure that we qualify as early as soon as we can and be in that frame of mind to hopefully win that.

India vs New Zealand upcoming test series

Virat Kohli was speaking to the media ahead of the two-Test series against New Zealand starting on Friday. He also highlights having three fast bowlers would enough for bowling where Ishant Sharma is expected to be in among those three fast bowlers who return from the Injury after clearing the fitness test.

Two days out from the Test, the Basin Reserve pitch had plenty of grass on it but India don’t seem to be getting carried away just yet. “If it’s a Johannesburg pitch, it’s a possibility,” Kohli said of playing four pacers. “From the point of view of our team, we have enough skill that even with three fast bowlers we can win matches. But if you have a world-class spinner in the midst, it’s a great advantage. A world-class spinner has the ability to take wickets on any kind of pitch. So we are not looking at the combination of other teams. We will stick to our strengths. We look for putting the most lethal and balanced bowling attack. We have the belief that with this bowling attack we can win the matches against this batting attack. Ours is a different bowling attack compared to the last tour, in terms of the experience. As a group, we haven’t bowled better than this. We haven’t bowled out these many sides in the last 2-3 years. I’m sure they will repeat the same here as well.”

Ishant sharma and kohli
Ishant sharma and kohli

Indian skipper’s view on Prithvi

“In white-ball cricket you can try to do too much, but when you come into red-ball cricket you fall into the discipline mould of batting, which obviously suits him much more at this stage. Prithvi is a talented player, so he has his own game and we want him to follow his instincts and play the way he does. Look, these guys have no baggage. These guys are not desperate to perform here in any manner or they don’t have any nerves in wanting to do well overseas because they haven’t done well in the past or something like that. I think with a clear head, as Mayank played in Australia, hopefully Prithvi can do the same in New Zealand and Mayank can carry forward that as well. A bunch of new guys, they play with a lot of fearlessness and something that can motivate the whole team and give us the starts that we want and not be intimidated by the opposition in any manner.”

2023 World cup

He also mentioned he understand till the 2023 World Cup his presence and peak performance is crucial after which he understands that the next phase of transition will set in.

“I can keep going on with the same intensity and also understand that the team wants a lot of my contribution in the next two to three years, so that I can ease into another transition that we faced five-six years ago,” he said referring to the retirements of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

Times of Sports
Times of Sports
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