Kohli: ‘We need to create momentum in the shorter format’

Ahead of the second ODI against Sri Lanka, India skipper eyes consistency in limited-overs cricket in the remaining season.

India skipper Virat Kohli — after whitewashing Sri Lanka 3-0 in Tests and clinching the first ODI by nine wickets — is eyeing consistency in limited-overs cricket ahead of the long season.   -  K. PICHUMANI

India skipper Virat Kohli — after whitewashing Sri Lanka 3-0 in Tests and clinching the first ODI by nine wickets — is eyeing consistency in limited-overs cricket ahead of the long season. “It is a great opportunity to define roles for players as they have the time to execute it. We haven’t played much ODI cricket in the last couple of years; maybe that’s the reason we were not as consistent in the shorter format,” said Kohli, ahead of the second ODI against Sri Lanka here on Thursday.

“We need to create a momentum in the shorter format, like we have done in Tests. We also want to be the best fielding side on the park,” he added.

However, the string of ODI matches will be testing M.S. Dhoni’s fitness as he doesn’t play Tests anymore. “I think it will help Dhoni as he will be in touch with international cricket for a longer period. It is all about finding momentum and sticking to it. Not only him, but the same applies to other players in the team,” said the 28-year-old, who scored an unbeaten 82 in the first rubber.

Kohli will decide on the team combination after having a look at the wicket. “I don’t see any reason for the wicket to change. I need to have a look at it. We played Axar Patel in the first match for his batting abilities but that doesn’t keep Kuldeep Yadav out. He is also in the scheme of things. We want to give opportunities to all players. In the coming matches, if we feel we don’t need much depth in the batting, we might play both of them.”

Will Hardik Pandya share the new ball with Jasprit Bumrah? “We look at him as a great option. He has the ability to swing the ball and can click over 135 kmph with good bounce,” he signed off.