Ashwin understands what the team demands, says Kohli

R. Ashwin may have been disappointed by his omission from India’s Champions Trophy opener against Pakistan, but the off-spinner accepted the decision without fuss or complaint, Virat Kohli stated here on Wednesday.

Virat Kohli speaks during a press conference at The Oval on Wednesday.   -  AP

 

R. Ashwin may have been disappointed by his omission from India’s Champions Trophy opener against Pakistan, but the off-spinner accepted the decision without fuss or complaint, Virat Kohli stated here on Wednesday.

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“Ashwin is a high-class bowler. And he’s very professional as well. He understood the dynamic of the side that we picked in the last game, and he was absolutely fine with it. He told me, ‘I support you whatever you want to do.’ That’s always been our equation,” he said.

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The Indian captain added: “Yes, we do have disagreements on bowling plans and all those sorts of things because he's a very smart guy and he has his own plans in place. But in this case where team selection and all these things come into play, he’s very professional. He understands what the team demands. It's a very nice thing and a beautiful thing about him that he always puts the team first. He was the first guy who said, ‘I have no problems with the kind of combination you're going in with.’”

 

India would not take Sri Lanka lightly, Kohli said. “In ICC tournaments, Sri Lanka have done really well. If you see their record over the years, they’ve always either reached the semis or been close to reaching the semis, and they've reached finals as well. They're going through a transition phase, but they have the sort of players that can deliver match-winning performances on their day. Yes, at the moment we are playing some good cricket, but that doesn't mean that we play with arrogance as a team. We respect every opposition the same way.”

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Kohli admitted, however, that India's fielding against Pakistan was sloppy. “Having done so well with the bat, I think the guys wanted to bring in that extra energy, and sometimes, starting a tournament, you can misfield a few and can get over-excited. There can be lapses as well, especially when the team is seven or eight down, and you know the game is going to get done soon. The complacency can come in. We identified that. We're going to work hard as a team today in the fielding drills and improve that aspect going forward.”

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