Wednesday, June 16

World Test Championship Final: “It’s all in the head”

Virat Kohli is unfazed by the prospect of New Zealand getting more time to acclimatize to the English conditions in the build-up to the World Test Championship Final. The Indian skipper feels how the team tackles the situation mentally will be much more important ahead of the ICC showpiece event.

India will get a little over two weeks in England ahead of the WTC Final at Southampton on June 18. On the other hand, New Zealand would have been in England for a little over a month by the date of the final, with the Blackcaps currently playing a two-Test series against England.

Many feel the schedule works in favour of New Zealand, but Virat Kohli spoke to the media about how he isn’t too worried about the situation.

“Look in the past we have landed in places three days prior, even on a proper schedule, and have had a hell of a series and competition. So, I think it’s all in the head. It’s how you look at the situation currently,” Virat Kohli claimed.

Whether it is for ICC events like the 2019 World Cup or bilateral series like the 2018 encounters, the current crop of Indian cricketers have played in England multiple times over the years.

Virat Kohli made a similar point on Wednesday, suggesting the Indian team is confident about their chances going into the final. The Indian skipper also downplayed the apparent disadvantage, claiming the team is already aware of the conditions they will encounter in England.

“It is not the first time we are playing in England. We all know how the conditions are like. Even if you are used to the conditions, if you don’t enter the field in the right frame of mind, you are going to nick that first ball or you are going to find it tough to pick wickets. I think the hunger and desire to be there and play the finals.. we don’t have an issue even with four practice sessions heading into the game because we are absolutely sure of what we can do as a team,” Virat Kohli pointed out.

We all have played in England before: Virat Kohli

The 32-year-old pointed out how most of the 20-man squad has had prior experience of playing in English conditions, either with India ‘A’ or the senior side.

“We all have played in England before as well whether it is with the Indian team or with India A for guys like Mohammed Siraj. They have all had experience of the conditions. We are not bothered by that at all and we just want to get there and make most of the opportunity,” Virat Kohli concluded.

The Indian team, along with their families and support staff, will fly out to the UK on June 3. The travelling contingent will arrive in London, before moving to Southampton to serve the required quarantine period.

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