India skipper Virat Kohli promised his team will play ‘fearless’ against England in the forthcoming series that the subcontinent giants have anything to lose.
The hosts are flying after an enormous 5-0 victory against Australia at home. India will take on England in three Twenty20 internationals and three one-day internationals.
“Playing against a good team in their conditions and at their home, to get the opportunity to be able to beat them in their home conditions, it is a point of excitement for us and not pressure,” Kohli said at a news conference.
“When they came to India last time, we won the series and the trophy is with us, and now they are on home soil and they need to play well to win it back. We will play fearless cricket and literally we have nothing to lose,” he added.
The Indian skipper, however, didn’t forget the challenge of the coming ICC World Cup next year which will be played in England.
He said, “Looking at the World Cup, we will try a lot of players in the shorter formats. In the ODIs the middle order is something that we have been looking for and we have a few things that we want to try out and address there as well.”
“The point was that we haven’t played in those wet and damp conditions ever as a team. And having spoken to the guys who’ve come here and played (Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma), they said it was a great experience for them learning a lot more things about their game,” Kohli added.
“As a cricketer you look for new challenges every now and then and that’s something that I wanted to go and experience. That was the main reason behind it. But looking at the weather it is totally opposite to what it was when the season was going on. In hindsight when I look at it, I don’t think it would’ve made too much of a difference to my preparation,” said Kohli ahead of the opening game of the long series against England.
When he was reminded about the depressing 2014 tour of England engrossed with personal failure for one of the most buzzing batsmen in the modern cricket era, Kohli said, “Surprisingly or funnily enough I don’t think from fans or outside point of view. Even when we came here for the Champions Trophy (2017) that was the first question that was asked and my reply was I am just looking forward to having a good time here.”
“It doesn’t matter whether I get runs or not, what I want is the team to play well and win. Obviously you want to perform as an individual but I haven’t set any benchmark or target and come here to do certain things which have to be special just because the last tour here I came on didn’t go well,” the 29 year old said.