India captain backs top-order batters KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma to score big in today’s opening Test vs Sri Lanka at Galle
Galle: India skipper Virat Kohli today said he is excited at the prospect of leading the team in his first full series as captain, and backed his top-order batsmen to do the bulk of the scoring as the visitors take on Sri Lanka in the first Test here today.
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India captain Virat Kohli in Galle yesterday. Pic/Solaris Images
"It is my first full series. It's a great opportunity to create some momentum knowing it's a three-Test series. It's an opportunity not only for me, but for all of us, for a new Indian team. We are all pretty early in our careers and it's exciting," said Kohli at the pre-match press conference.
India haven't won a Test series in Lanka since 1993. The visitors are expected to go in with five bowlers and five specialist batsmen, along with wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha at No 6.
"The basic idea is to take 20 wickets. That's the only way you can win a game,"said Kohli referring to the six-five strategy.
"The idea of playing five bowlers is pretty clear. Someone like Saha, who is looking to cement his place in the side or R Ashwin, who we are looking at as an all-rounder rather than a bowler who can bat, because he has the ability. But the responsibility is on the top five batsmen to score the bulk of the runs and take the pressure off these two till the time they feel comfortable and get going in this format,"
Kohli said both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are hungry to do well. "KL Rahul is batting brilliantly, hitting the ball well and he got a hundred in Australia.
It was sad for him to miss out in Bangladesh. He is hungry to go, really wants to do well and has great attitude. Rohit as well wants to do really well in this format. The most important thing for any cricketer is the hunger and after that it's all about the execution which is basically how you apply yourselves," he said.