England vs India: Don’t believe extra batsman gives balance but will work on rotation of pacers- Virat Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli has practically ruled out the idea of playing an extra batsman, saying that the team is not ready to compromise on its ability to take 20 wickets. India lost the Leeds Test by an innings and 76 runs as England leveled the five-match series 1-1.

Resuming on an overnight score of 215-2, the visitors crashed to 278 all out before lunch, with the Indian middle-order once again failing miserably against the pace and guile of the England fast bowlers.

“You are talking about a pure batsman?” he countered when asked if he would play a sixth specialist batsman.

“I don’t believe in that balance and I have never believed in that balance because either you can try and save a defeat or you can try and win a game. And we have drawn games in the past with a similar number of batters,” the Indian captain was very curt with his reply.

ENG vs IND, 3rd Test Day 4: Highlights | Report

“If your top six (including keeper) don’t do the job there is no guarantee that the extra guy can bail you out. You have to take pride in taking responsibility and doing the job for the team.

“If you don’t have the ability or resources to take 20 wickets in a Test match, then you are already playing for two results and that’s not how we play,” he added.

Won’t push individuals to a point where they break: Virat Kohli

India will play the fourth Test at the Oval from September 2 and at least one, if not two, among Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami could be rested.

“That’s bound to happen as it’s a logical and sensible thing to do. We don’t want to push individuals to a place where they break down and that conversation is important.

“We will have that conversation with individuals and you can’t expect that in a short turnaround like this guys can play four Test matches in a row. So we will assess who are the guys who will be given that any number of days to recover and be okay for the fifth one.”

“I am not obviously watching his run-up as I am standing in the slips,” Kohli was sarcastic when asked if he felt that Ishant was having a problem with his run-up.

“I watch the bat of the batsman and I am not analysing how he (Ishant) is moving in the field. I think he moved similar to the last game. There was no issue whatsoever and as a batting group we failed in the first innings and in the second innings, we did a much better job.

“As a bowling group also, we accept that we were not consistent enough. That’s it.”

As has been the case with Kohli”s media interactions, he blamed the press — who he often refers to as noise on the outside — about the kind of questions being asked.

“I know what happens when we lose one game. I maintain this in the past that we are not going to fall into this space of picking on issues and not one or two things to talk about. We win as a team and we fail as a team.”

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India Today

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