CM – Final Blast in the Desert: Kohli says the team was passionate about creating cricket culture

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Published: October 17, 2021 7:50 AM |

Last updated: October 17, 2021 7:50 am

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CHENNAI: Dressed in India blue, Virat saw Kohli at peace with himself. Eight days before the World Cup kick-off against Pakistan in a possibly decisive tournament for the Indian skipper, he was in a chatty form at the ICC captains’ media day.

The 32-year-old, who will be one of the very few, the one for everyone available ICC events (both World Cups, Champions Trophy and Test World Championships), talked about India’s goals, the return of MS Dhoni to the dressing room, the background noise regarding the change of coach and R Ashwin’s call back among other things.

About the change of coach and the goal with Ravi Shastri. To become world champion
I don’t know what’s going on on that front to be honest. Our ultimate goal, like any other team, is to win the World Cup. But what we’ve achieved in the last five years goes beyond titles and tournaments. We went to it with passion and honesty (creating the culture). Yes, winning the World Cup will be a wonderful achievement and we will give everything.

About the presence of Dhoni
He has a lot of experience. He is very happy to be back in this environment. He was always a mentor to all of us when we started our careers. His eye for detail and advice will help improve the game by a percent or two. The younger people that are here will benefit from it (from him). We are really excited to have him. His presence will boost morale and build the confidence we already have.

Upon R. Ashwin’s return
He bowls with a lot of courage while bowling in white ball cricket. He rolls difficult overs to the power hitters and is not afraid to get the ball in the right areas. He was rewarded for reviving his white ball bowling. Both (Ravindra) Jadeja and he performed well for us and it’s good to see the fingertips back (there was a time when India was very supportive of the wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal).

To the exclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal
It was a challenging call. We decided to support Rahul Chahar as he is someone who bowls at speed. We believe the UAE wickets are slowing down so it’s good to have someone bowling and attacking the tree stumps at that extra pace. He bowls in areas that get wickets. That was the decisive factor for Rahul. Do not take anything away from Chahal.

About Bhuvneshwar Kumar and lack of seam movement
No, Don `t worry. His savings rate is still top notch and is known for it. (The skill he has) is underestimated, you know the accuracy of always landing the ball in the same area. Whatever help there is with the new ball … he will find it. He is also fully fit again. A few days ago we saw what we’re all about in the Sunrisers game (Hyderabad) against RCB. With people like ABD (AB de Villiers) on the days of death …

To the India-Pakistan game
I can only speak from my own experience. I’ve always treated it like another game. There is hype around it, but even more so in terms of ticket sales and demand. At the moment the value for these tickets is ridiculously high … the environment, you could say, is different from the outside. But by and large we just try to be as professional as possible.

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