Kohli: 'Don't think Prithvi should be rushed into anything'

Kohli agreed that exposure to leagues like the IPL, at such an early age, has helped players like Shaw and Rishabh Pant handle stress better.

Kohli felt that the pressure of representing the country for the first time is bound to give anyone goosebumps.   -  Vivek Bendre

India captain Virat Kohli, on Thursday, showered praise on opener Prithvi Shaw, but cautioned against comparing the right-hander to the greats of the game.

"I don't think Prithvi should be rushed into anything, yet. You need to give a youngster the space to grow," Kohli said.

Shaw scored a scintillating 134 on his Test debut at Rajkot, his 206-run partnership for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara, putting the game beyond Windies' reach right at the start.

"This guy is supremely talented and has great ability as everyone saw. We definitely think he has what it takes to play at the highest level," Kohli pointed out before adding a caveat.

"But I feel we should just let him enjoy his cricket and grow into the cricketer we all believe he can."

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While Kohli agreed that exposure to leagues like the IPL, at such an early age, has helped players like Shaw and Rishabh Pant handle the big stage and expectations better, he felt the pressure of representing the country for the first time is bound to give anyone goosebumps.

"When you're handed the cap on the morning of the game, there are always butterflies in the stomach, and I'm sure everyone feels it."

That said, Kohli concurred that it was not "as intense as 10-15 years back when you didn't have any exposure to this kind of level of cricket and then suddenly, you're making your Test debut - the toughest thing there could be. I agree with the fact that having played in the IPL in front of so many people, they're not nervous of the big stage anymore."

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No slip-ups

The Indian fielders — especially in the slip cordon — fared better during the fag end of the Test series in England. Of the 25 chances, 15 were taken and 10 dropped. Kohli revealed that the reasonable conversion rate was due to the hard yards put in the nets.

"The guys who're doing the job regularly are the ones who are putting the minutes in practice as well, be it Pujara, Ajinkya, Rahul or myself.

"We all do our bit at training to make sure we take x number of catches. Obviously in India, you might not need as many number of slips, but if required, the slip catching cordon will be consistent. These guys are willing to do the job for a long period of time, and hence the results."

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After the innings and 272-run win in the first Test, R. Ashwin had criticised the 'SG' ball that was used at Rajkot. Kohli, concurring with his lead spinner, said "to have a ball scruffed up in five overs is not something we've seen before. The quality of the balls used to be quite high before, so I don't understand why it has gone down.

"The Dukes and Kookaburra are still good quality balls... whatever limitations the latter might have, the quality is never compromised. The Dukes ball, I think, is the most suited for Test cricket.

"The seam is so hard and upright that it keeps both the pacers and spinners in the game. The quality of the ball has to be maintained, otherwise you will have too many dead sessions in a Test and you don't want that."

 

Kohli on Oz tour

"For Australia,  we're looking at guys who can put revs on the ball. It always works in overseas conditions, guys who can get the ball to bite off the pitch are the ones who can succeed not just in India, but abroad as well."

"If you see someone like Moeen (Ali), it's his pace that makes him difficult to play. I think Ashwin did that beautifully in England; he bowled quicker than he used to."

"Jaddu (Jadeja) is one bowler who has always done that. I don't feel we've any issues related to the composition of our bowling attack."