AHMEDABAD: Even though the playing XI for the fourth Test appears likely to be close to the one that played the third Test, barring a forced change in Umesh Yadav for Jasprit Bumrah, skipper Virat Kohli chose to keep his cards close to the chest on match eve.
“We will have the look at the pitch again tomorrow (Thursday) and we have a certain set idea of what we want to go with,” he said. “Bumrah is not available, so we just have to see what we want to go in with, and there won’t be many changes to the last XI that played, most probably similar kind of combination,” the skipper added, speaking his mind and yet not revealing any shortlists.
Like a shade card for wall paint, this freshly laid wicket in Ahmedabad – from what the pictures reveal – has gone from being lush green to barren brown and looks set to move further in that direction by the time the coin is out for the toss.
“There is always too much noise and too much conversation about spinning tracks. When we were bowled out in 36 overs in New Zealand, I am sure none of our people spoke about the pitch,” said Kohli.
“It was about how India played badly. The pitches weren’t criticised. Nobody saw how much the pitch was doing, how much the ball was moving and how much grass there was.
“The reason for our success is that as a team we haven’t cribbed about any pitches we have played on. And we will continue to play like that as a team moving forward.
💬 “Unfortunate that there’s too much noise about spinning tracks.”Ahead of the fourth @Paytm #INDvENG Test,… https://t.co/c2LPd7QBA5
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1614768011000
“It has always been the case that spinning tracks come into focus way more,” he said, once again underlining his and the team’s view that too much is being made about the pitch. When the ball seams and the team gets bundled out for 40, 50, 60, no one writes about the pitch … it is always about bad batting.
“I think we all need to be honest with ourselves in what space we are talking from and what the idea is behind continuing this narrative and what purpose it serves people who keep continuing this conversation, which is quite one-sided,” the skipper added.
He’s not overtly perturbed about his own batting form either, considering it’s been a while since he took his helmet off and raised the bat in an international game.
“I am not in any haste or desperation because I understand where I stand as a batsman, and what my responsibility in the team is,” Kohli said about his batting form.
With India dishing out rank turners, Kohli and the other top-order batsmen in the team have been missing out on potentially big hundreds at home. “If milestones happen, great. If not, the team should win. At the end of the day, that’s our main goal,” said Kohli.