Cricket

Nagpur test match opens an opportunity for other guys to step in, says Virat

[caption id="attachment_50910" align="alignnone" width="580"]Virat Indian captain Virat Kohli feel the absence of key players in the side will open up opportunities for new guys to step in.[/caption]

Internet Desk: The second test match between India and Sri Lanka at Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium is an ideal opportunity for others to step in, feels Indian captain Virat Kohli. The absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan from the second test match will give a huge opportunity for guys replacing them. Bhuvneshwar will not be available for the remainder of the test series as he is getting married, while Dhawan will be available for the third test match in Delhi.

According to Kohli, “I am not worried at all. Am very confident of the ability of the guys who will step in and they are looking at this as an opportunity to go out and do well for the team which everyone likes to do. I am not bothered. Obviously those two guys have made an impact in a lot of games for us.”

Ishant Sharma and Murali Vijay look to be the frontrunner to take the places of Bhuvneshwar and Dhawan.

The wicket at the VCA stadium in Jamtha has a greenish look, suggesting it will offer help for the fast bowlers.

Talking about the Jamtha wicket, Kohli said, “The wicket is quite hard as it is usually is at Nagpur with a nice grass covering on it. So, the fast bowlers should be in play for the first couple of days, for sure, because of the bounce and the nice carry off it as well.”

On being asked about the conditions on offer ahead of the gruelling tour of South Africa, Kohli said, “We did requested for such conditions, because unfortunately we get only two days before we fly to South Africa after this series gets over. So we have no choice but to be in game situation and think of what’s coming ahead of us.

He added, “We very easily assess the team when we go abroad but we don’t look at how many days we have got to prepare before we go to a particular place to play. And everyone starts judging players when results come after Test matches. It should be a fair game where we get to prepare the way we want to and then we are entitled to be criticized. So we thought this is an ample opportunity for us to challenge ourselves, put us in a situation… As I said, we want to embrace being in difficult conditions.”

The Indian captain had some special words of praise for Tamil Nadu batsman Vijay Shankar.

“He (Vijay Shankar) has been very consistent. He has earned his spot. He is a pretty balanced cricketer, one who is very composed. He is handy with the ball, someone who can easily give you 10-12 overs a day and he is very solid with the bat. I just saw him at the nets. It is a big moment for him,” said Virat.

“Obviously, Hardik is in our scheme of things as our first all-rounder But we need to, obviously, find out more people who have that capability and whom we can groom and make as back-ups for all-rounder’s slot, which is very crucial for us when we travel abroad. That is the whole idea of bringing him in and keeping him in the set up and making him familiar with what’s going on here and making him understand what he needs to work on and look at his game as well,” signed off Kohli.

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