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‘People have held on to the 2014 tour for too long’: Virat Kohli

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The Indian men will be going on a tour of England after four years — a period long enough for the memories to be blurred by the successes in the intervening period.

But with almost every question at the team’s pre-departure press conference here on Friday hinting at the not-so-great outing by the side in 2014, skipper Virat Kohli was forced to insist that his team was focusing on the present and the future, rather than the past.

“I think a lot of people have held on to the last tour for too long. The Champions Trophy has been completely forgotten.

“I don’t think it was played in Bangladesh. I am actually looking to enjoy the country and not even thinking of cricket right now,” Kohli said when asked about his own poor form on the previous England tour.

“For us as a team, this is a very exciting time. We are actually looking forward to playing more difficult cricket after the South Africa series,” he added.

Kohli insisted the team didn’t need any change in strategy and would continue with a match-winning mindset — “[change after one series] happens to people who do not have patience.”

He declared he felt fresh and raring to get back into action after the injury-enforced break.

Kohli agreed he would have liked to spend some time playing county cricket but for the neck injury. He, however, had no regrets.

“In hindsight, I think what happened was the best thing for me. It is not a place we have played in too much, you do forget what the conditions were when you played last time.

“But given a choice between being 90% fit and used to the conditions, and feeling 110% fit and going in fresh, I would rather be in this position.” he said.

Shastri on Yo-Yo

Asked about the Yo-Yo test, coach Ravi Shastri was categorical. “I think it’s a combination of both skills and fitness.

“You may have the skills but if you have fitness, you can enhance that ability. Anyone who thinks it is a one-off thing is mistaken.

“The captain leads from the front, the selectors and the entire team management is on the same page,” he declared.

And Kohli backed him. “People on the outside may not be able to see the small things that happen in a Test or series. Someone like Jasprit Bumrah was bowling at 144 kmph in his last spell of the third Test (in South Africa) and that’s where the fitness comes in. When people are fit, hungry and ready, you are not only competing but winning,” he said.

Source: The Hindu

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