Kohli stays positive, hints Bumrah's return

India may be struggling to avoid a series defeat going into Saturday's third Test at Trent Bridge, but Virat Kohli believes the situation could in a way liberate his players.

Virat Kohli during a training session ahead of India's crucial third Test against England.   -  AFP

India may be struggling to avoid a series defeat going into Saturday's third Test at Trent Bridge, but Virat Kohli believes the situation could in a way liberate his players. "You know, when your back is against the wall that is the time you can’t afford to think of anything else," he said here on Friday.

"If you look at it from another point of view, it’s actually a good situation to be in because you literally have no room for thinking about anything else. The only option is to win this game and nothing else."

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Kohli dismissed, with some irritation, the idea that some of the batsmen were battling to save their careers. "I don’t think anyone is thinking like that," he said.

"These are just things that are created on the outside and people like to make a lot of nothing basically. For us the priority is to win games of cricket. We are not thinking whether someone’s career is on the line or what’s going to happen to their future. When it's your time, it’s your time. No one can play forever but that day is not today. We need to focus on this Test match and not think about whether someone’s career is on the line. It’s quite a bizarre thought to have.”

Pitch will determine team

The team might consider a sixth batsman if there was extra spice in the pitch, Kohli said. "If the surface has lots of assistance for the bowlers, the extra batter might come into play. If not, then obviously picking up 20 wickets is going to be priority. It’s not about saving one discipline but one discipline taking responsibility for their job and the other discipline taking responsibility for theirs. But both possibilities are there looking at how exciting or spicy the pitch is going to be."

Kohli spoke glowingly of Jasprit Bumrah, adding -- perhaps surprisingly -- that his availability did not create any selection dilemma. "Guys who are bowling well are the ones who are going to start. That’s something that everyone is aware of. I don’t see any issues," he said.

His back was feeling "absolutely fine", Kohli stated, before adding that there was no pressure on individuals to post big scores. "If 10 people score 20 runs or one man scores 200 runs, it doesn’t matter,” he said.

“We have to achieve a team total and if your contribution in that is – I am not saying it should be 100 or 125, but if you can score 40-45 crucial runs, then you should take pride in that. We are trying to go with that mindset in this match. By doing this, you can relieve pressure of personal performance and you are able to respect the conditions as well."