Just one day before the opening match of 13th Asia Cup and 1st Asia Cup T20, Virat Kohli attended the pre-match press conference for Indian team at Mirpur on Tuesday. India will play their first match against Bangladesh in the opening match of the 2016 Asia Cup tournament on Wednesday.
Virat Kohli said that 2016 Asia Cup T20 is a platform to understand the team’s strengths and weaknesses for the upcoming World T20 which will begin on 8th March in India.
Virat Kohli said at the press conference, “Going to the World Cup as I said, the conditions are going to be similar and we will probably be playing all these oppositions at some stage. So, as many teams, as we play before the World Cup, it gives us a great opportunity to assess what the teams are like, what the balance is like, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and where do we stand compared to them. You can see it (Asia Cup) as a whole package before the World Cup.”
Kohli also spoke out about the Asia cup as he said, “Asia Cup has always been a challenging tournament, it’s like a mini event as far as the sub-continental teams are concerned. It’s an opportunity to test yourself as I said against the best teams in the sub-continent. It’s a competitive tournament with the different opposition with a different set of skills testing you all the time.”
Kohli didn’t clarify about Indian skipper Dhoni’s fitness condition whether he will able to play the opening game or not. Dhoni is suffering from a muscle spasm injury during a training session. And for that reason, BCCI immediately brought Parthiv Patel as a back-up.
Kohli said on Dhoni’s present condition, “With Parthiv coming in, we will have to sit down and see if that situation comes where he has to play. We will then have to sort out a combination, the best possible for the team in terms of the batting order but, as of now, we cannot. Unless we have a decision we cannot sit down and make a concrete plan. Obviously, a discussion will take place, it will happen sometime today during the practice session as to what needs to be done if that situation arises. Yeah, obviously, it’s going to be different from what we have been playing with till now. We just have to wait and see how the situation pans out.”
Kohli also commented on Dhoni’s earlier comment about the team being in an auto-pilot mode. Kohli said, “MS was spot on because I think it comes from the fact that we play a lot of T20 cricket. In IPL, we get so many games to play and execute our skills, so you keep getting better every season. If you see the number of games being played by players in the IPL, the numbers are very high, so everyone knows what needs to be done and at what stage of the game in that tournament. I think even MS is not required to put in so much thought on what needs to be done because the players are experienced. That takes the load off. So that’s why he said the team is in auto pilot mode. I think that’s what he meant.
“That everyone knows what needs to be done at what stage throughout the 20 overs, be it batting, bowling or in the field. I think it’s a very good atmosphere the team is in right now. Everyone is very sure what needs to be done.”