LeedsIndian captain Virat Kohli on Saturday hinted at a change in the fourth match keeping pace with the workload of pacers, backing his stick to five specialist bowlers despite a massive loss in the third Test against England. Kohli dismissed the idea of having an extra batsman in the team after the match. Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar was heard advocating for an extra batsman in the team several times during the commentary. When Kohli was asked about the sixth specialist batsman, he said, ‘You are talking about specialist batsman? I don’t believe in that balance and I never believe in that balance because either you can try to save or you can win. We have drawn so many matches in the past with so many batsmen. “If your top six (including the wicket-keeper) don’t work, there’s no guarantee that extra batsmen will save the match for you,” he said. You have to take pride in taking responsibility and working for the team. “If you don’t have the ability or the resources to take 20 wickets in a Test match, you are already playing for two results and that’s not our way of playing,” he said. India will play the fourth Test at The Oval from September 2 and at least one bowler from Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami is likely to be rested. Kohli said, ‘It is almost certain to happen because it is a logical and sensible thing. We don’t want to put so much work pressure on the bowlers that they get injured. “We will talk to him and you cannot expect him to play four consecutive Test matches in such a short span of time. So we will assess who needs rest before the fifth match. If we see the bowling of the third Test played here, then Ishant Sharma may have to be out of the team. The captain, however, did not take any names yet. When Kohli was asked if he thinks Ishant is having trouble with the run-up, he said, “I was not focused on his run-up as I was standing in the slips.” There was no problem with the team. We failed in the first innings as a batting group and we did a much better job in the second innings. “We have to admit that even as a bowling group we were not that effective,” he said.
[Attribution to NBT]