World Cup 2019: Pace bowlers are in good space, says Virat Kohli
Skipper Virat Kohli not stressing over the fact that his pace bowlers have not had enough practice ahead of today's much-awaited clash against Pakistan
Manchester: India and Pakistan go into today's high-profile clash in contrasting circumstances as far as preparation is concerned. India have been out of action since the June 9 match against Australia at The Oval, thanks to a washout against New Zealand at Trent Bridge on June 13.
Pakistan come into this match on the back of a defeat against Australia. The loss aside, they had some fruitful training sessions before coming to Old Trafford here. India, on the other hand, had just two nets sessions since their game at The Oval. The one net session in Nottingham was a truncated one with only batsmen having a go in the nets due to the wet outfield.
Ahead of the Pakistan clash, the Indian team had a training session here yesterday with, again, only the batsmen getting a good feel of the conditions. The pace bowlers — Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar — couldn't have an intense net session due to wetness in the run-up area. Vijay Shankar, however, bowled for a good over half an hour.
The Indian bowlers will hold the key if they have to maintain their 6-0 dominance over Pakistan in World Cups. India skipper Virat Kohli, however, didn't look perturbed with his premium pacers well short of quality practice before a marquee World Cup clash. "They are in a very good head space and they bowled really well in the first two games. If they can stay fresh physically and their bodies are feeling good, mentally they're in a very good space. They are all very experienced bowlers, especially Bumrah and Bhuvi are bowling really, really well," Kohli said.
The Indian captain provided an example of the Australia match at The Oval where the Indian pacers were successful in putting the batsmen under pressure despite conditions not being very bowler-friendly.
"It wasn't a pitch which was offering too much, but they created that pressure on the batsmen. The most important thing for them is to stay in prime condition and the mental side of things will take care of itself especially where conditions are like this [overcast], they'll get a lot more help than the first two games; not to bother about their preparation at all," said Kohli. It is not just the tricky weather that the Indian team management has to plan for, it is also the unpredictable nature of Pakistan against whom they have played the least due to political tensions. "For us then, familiar oppositions, unfamiliar oppositions don't matter because if you don't play well, you don't win and if you play well, you can win against anyone," he said.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
World Cup 2019: MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma cried during semifinal. Here's why