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2017 ICC Champions Trophy: India’s Bowling Options Give Virat Kohli A Good Headache 

2017 ICC Champions Trophy: India’s Bowling Options Give Virat Kohli A Good Headache

With just a day remaining before Team India starts its title-defence against arch-rivals Pakistan, the defending champions have a new-found headache, something that was rarely heard in Indian cricket. But fortunately for the Men in Blue, it is something that they would like to have every time they take to the field. And the headache is India’s formidable bowling lineup.

With India’s pace quartet of Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah in excellent form in the build-up to the tournament, the team management is definitely going to find itself in a tight spot when they sit down to pick up the playing eleven for the Pakistan game but skipper Virat Kohli is not minding it all.

Speaking on the eve of the game, the 28-year old said he could not help but think about whom to select in the playing eleven. Moreover, with Hardik Pandya also doing well in the second warm-up game where he scored a quickfire 80 against Bangladesh, India’s selection conundrum is only going to become more complex.

Kohli stated that the team has still not decided on the final eleven.

“I think that’s been on my mind in the last five, six days. The most out of anything else, you know, who to play? Because in both the (practice) games all the guys have bowled beautifully and the attack looks really balanced. But Hardik coming into the equation as the all-rounder, you can only play four bowlers apart from him,” Kohli said. “So who to choose according to the conditions… we’ve just arrived so we haven’t even gotten a chance to look at the pitch the first time. We’re going to go out to the centre. We’ll have a look at the wicket.”

The reigning Champions Trophy champions have had only practice session at Edgbaston, Birmingham so far while playing their warm-up games at The Oval in London. India will be playing on the same pitch where Australia and New Zealand’s game took place on Friday (June 2).

Kohli watched the game and the 54 overs that were bowled in that game was enough for him to get a feel of the wicket.

“When we played at The Oval, I think it was a little bit different from Birmingham. The game I saw yesterday, the ball was coming on pretty nicely. The wicket was really hard and the batsmen were enjoying themselves. The bowlers found it difficult, and that’s why I think they (New Zealand) had different fields right in the powerplay at the beginning of the game. So that becomes a big factor in terms of, especially the bowling attack, where you’re going to execute what you want to and how to contain the batsmen,” said Kohli.

When asked about the team composition, Kohli kept his cards close to the chest.

“There are all kinds of possibilities — two spinners, two fast bowlers, three fast bowlers, Hardik and a spinner. So we’ll see what the wicket is like and what we feel is going to match up well against the opposition,” he said.

“Accordingly, we’ll pick our best bowling attack. But as you mentioned everyone is bowling really well. The team looks really balanced. We’re feeling really confident as a team. And that’s showing in how we’re playing in the warm-up games. The intensity was right up there, and that’s something that was really nice to see for me as a captain. It’s a good headache to have.

“Until I see the wicket, we can’t really comment on who is going to play and what the combination is going to be like, but, yeah, everyone’s fit and ready to go,” he added.

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