Don't feel we will be a batsman short if Shardul Thakur doesn't play: Virat Kohli

Tags: India tour of England, 2021, England vs India, 2nd Test at London, Aug 12-16, 2021, India, England, Virat Kohli, Shardul Narendra Thakur

Published on: Aug 12, 2021

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Team India captain Virat Kohli made it clear that India wouldn’t look at batting ability while deciding Shardul Thakur’s replacement for the second Test at Lord’s. Kohli said that claiming 20 wickets is more important and they will go with that option for Thakur’s replacement. The Mumbai pacer is said to be suffering from a hamstring injury and is unlikely to take part in the Lord’s Test. He was impressive in Nottingham, with four wickets in the match. Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin or pacers Ishant Sharma/ Umesh Yadav could replace Thakur for the Lord’s Test.

Speaking to the media ahead of the second Test, Kohli said, "Good thing is that Jadeja has got runs in the first Test already and he is going into the second game confident that already makes our batting deeper, the lower order contributed with bat a well. Yes, Shardul brings in more batting ability but having said that from the batsmen's point of view, we are well placed because Pujara, Jinx (Rahane) and myself we didn't score too many."

"Every game is an opportunity for other batters to step up as well, Rohit and KL (Rahul) played very well and we are very comfortable with how we are placed as a batting unit, and we don't feel that we will be a batsman short if Shardul doesn't play. For us, it's about finding that perfect balance but if someone like Shardul is not available, then we definitely need to think how to pick up 20 wickets and not try to plug in another guy, who can give us some runs with the bat. I think we are very comfortable how first Test went," the skipper added.

Apart from KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, no batsman could cross the half-century mark in Nottingham. Kohli, however, asserted that he was not concerned about Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara’s low scores

"I don't think that's an area of concern. Our basic focus is not to think individually where people are but collectively how much strength they bring into the team is our focus. What's your best and strongest batting unit that you can take on the park," the captain said.

Kohli also backed Rishabh Pant’s aggressive approach that has delivered mixed results so far. He said about Pant, “That's basically how he plays. He obviously has capability to carry on and play long innings in that manner. It doesn't necessarily have to be a very defensive role. Obviously, when there is a demand of the situation, he (Pant) is intelligent enough to understand if we are looking to save a game. Obviously he won't play those kind of shots but wherever there is 50-50 situation and he has a chance to change momentum of the game he will take that chance. That's how he plays and we want him to be that way," Kohli clearly said.

The second Test between India and England begins at Lord’s on Thursday

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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