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Indian captain Virat Kohli is not thinking about the next Cricket World Cup. He feels that the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is too far at present.
India had a great start in the recently concluded 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. In the long round-robin stage, India mostly dominated as they won seven out of nine matches (lost once and one had no result). India qualified for the semi-final of that tournament after finishing as the table topper.
However, India faced a heart-breaking defeat in the rain-interrupted first semi-final against the fourth-placed side New Zealand. Later, New Zealand finished as the runners-up of the 2019 CWC after losing the final against the hosts England. It was the first CWC trophy for England.
India will host the next Cricket World Cup 2023. The Indian captain Virat Kohli feels that the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is too far at present. His major priority at present is to set up the national side as one of the most consistent teams in the world cricket.
After completing the whitewash in the T20I series against Windies, Kohli said in the press conference, “It’s too far to think about 2023 right now. For us, the priority always has been to be one of the most consistent sides in the world. I think in the last 3-4 years, we have been able to achieve that.
“We are the number two side in the world and there is a good reason for that. You really start planning for the (ODI) World Cup and looking forward to it with 12 months to go and not four years away. The priority is to keep Indian cricket at the top.”
I was definitely impressed with Deepak Chahar – Virat Kohli
On Tuesday (6th August), Kohli-led India completed the whitewash in the three-match T20I series against Windies. India started the third and final T20I of this series at Providence with the unassailable lead of 2-0 and secured a comfortable seven wickets victory.
In his comeback match, the Indian pacer Deepak Chahar provided a lethal start with the new ball that helped India to dominate that game. He had the incredible bowling figures of 3-1-4-3 as Windies were once struggling on 14/3.
Later, Kieron Pollard (58 runs) and Rovman Powell (32*) played some crucial innings that helped them to score 146/6 (20 overs). Also, the Indian pacer Navdeep Saini (2/34) bagged two wickets while the debutant leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (1/27) got one wicket.
Kohli lauded Chahar cousins by quoting, “We wanted to try a couple of guys. We gave both the Chahar brothers a go in this game. It was Rahul’s first game and Deepak’s comeback. Playing for the first time, I think he (Rahul) was outstanding with the new ball.
“The pitch didn’t have much, there was a bit of cloud cover but the kind of swing he (Deepak) got early and got those three wickets really set West Indies back and they could not get to a big total.”
Apart from praising both these newcomers, Kohli also credited the experienced pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The Indian captain added, “I think it was his (Bhuvneshwar’s) execution that pushed them back. Bhuvi has always been professional, a very skillful bowler.
“But I was definitely impressed with Deepak and how he bowled, even with Rahul how he came back in the third over and got a wicket. I think it was a really good day for us as a fielding team, as a bowling unit and Deepak started it all for us.”
I don’t play for my own performance – the Indian captain
In reply, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant guided the visiting side to the comfortable victory. Kohli scored 59 runs while Pant was not out on 65 runs. Their batting performances helped India to chase down that target in 19.1 overs after losing just three wickets.
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
Talking about his batting performances, Kohli said, “I don’t think I need to prove myself with the bat or anything like that. I just want to do my job for the team. I don’t play for my own performance.
“It is just about getting the team across the line whether I score 20, 30, 40, 50, or whatever. I have been playing like that for 11 years, so nothing new for me and no pressure at all.”
Rishabh Pant has got the tremendous talent we all know – Kohli
Rishabh Pant was a flop in the first two T20Is of this series as he scored 0 and 4 runs. However, he batted superbly at Providence as he remained not out on 65 runs off 42 balls. The left-handed batsman hit four fours and four sixes in that innings.
The Indian skipper has enough confidence in Pant as he is looking forward to seeing more good performances from him.
Kohli said, “For the first two games, he was really disappointed as he didn’t get any runs. Sometimes you don’t have the rub of the green but today he made sure that he applied himself and backed his skills, hit the big shots when required.
“He played with the tempo of the innings, the tempo of what was required. I am really looking forward to seeing more performances from him like this. He has got tremendous talent we all know. It is all about getting into his zone and doing this more often for the team.”
In the ongoing Caribbean tour, Kohli-led India will now play the three-match ODI series, starting from 8th August. After this ODI series, India will finish this tour with the two-match Test series.