NEW DELHI, May 21: Team India skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday addressed the media ahead of their flight to England for the upcoming 50-over World Cup. In the press conference, Kohli answered questions on various topics, ranging from Kedar Jadhav’s injury to a slump in Kuldeep Yadav’s form in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League.
Speaking about cricket’s biggest extravaganza, Kohli said that the Indian team is fully prepared for the challenge and focus will be the key for players in the tournament.
“I think the only expectation at the World Cup we have, is to play really good cricket. That’s been our focus, and that’s how the results have followed for us,” Kohli said.
“Handling pressure is the most important thing in the World Cup and not necessarily the conditions. All our bowlers are fresh, no one looks fatigued”, Kohli added.
The World Cup this time around will be played in the round-robin format (last used in the 1992 World Cup) and Kohli pointed that the all-play-all format will make the tournament more challenging than the past.
“Personally, I think this is probably the most challenging World Cup of all that I’ve been part of, because of the format,” Kohli said.
Kuldeep Yadav had a slump in form in the IPL recently and was also dropped from the playing XI by the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Discussing the chinaman’s run in IPL 2019, Kohli said that it was good that the dip in form came before the World Cup, which gives Kuldeep time to work on his shortcomings.
“Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are two important pillars of our bowling unit,” Kohli said.
More than the conditions, his team will have to come out on top in high-pressure situations, said the skipper.
“It is always good to go to any place in advance. You are right, it does (help) getting rid of the nerves you might have as a side going into the World Cup. White ball cricket in England, playing an ICC event, the conditions are not that difficult compared to Tests. Handling the most pressure is the most important thing in World Cup and not necessarily the conditions.”
Kohli said his highly-rated bowling line-up is ready for the challenge.
“We will win the World Cup this time for Indian soldiers. You can get motivated from a lot of sources but I doubt there is any bigger motivation than the soldiers. You cannot compare the role played by you in comparison to the army. If you proceed with the motivation that you want to achieve something for the army then there is nothing better than that. It may be the case that some players get motivation from their families, but we are sure to get extra motivation from the fact that we want to win the World Cup for the army,” the Indian skipper said.
The 46-day event starts on May 30 and will conclude with the final at Lord’s in London on July 14. (ToI)