Youngsters ready to give hosts a tough time: Virat | india | Hindustan Times
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Youngsters ready to give hosts a tough time: Virat

Virat Kohli said he is confident the young players will infuse new life into the Indian team and make the difference in the one-day series. Sanjjeev Karan Samyal reports.

india Updated: Sep 02, 2011 23:49 IST
Sanjjeev Karan Samyal

Virat Kohli said he is confident the young players will infuse new life into the Indian team and make the difference in the one-day series. Expectations are high from players like Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin and Ajinkya Rahane as they are expected to lead India's revival in the limited-over series after the low of the Test series.

"It's a positive thing with fresh faces coming in because they have come here with the mindset to do well and have got time to prepare back home. All of us are really fresh at the moment and are eager to do well in the one-day series," said Kohli.

The Indian team wears a different look from the World Cup-winning squad, with key players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Gautam Gambhir missing due to injury. The performance of the young brigade is being keenly watched as the selectors are on the lookout for players who can make a smooth transition to Tests. Kohli, Sharma and Ashwin are being seen as the future of Indian cricket and are expected to challenge the seniors in Tests soon.

"Injuries are unfortunate, but it's an opportunity for the players coming in. I think, we have to be mentally prepared and up for the challenge. It's a great opportunity for the younger guys to showcase their talent, and even if the seniors come back, they will stay in the reckoning. I just hope we all live up to the challenge," he said.

Things didn't go as planned in the Twenty20 game with the Indian batting suffering another collapse. However, the middle-order batsman said the team was taking heart from the way it fought till the end.

"In the last game, we fought really well and there wasn't any sign of letting the game go at any point. Unfortunately we couldn't win."

Being the defending champions, the pressure is all the more on the Indian team. Kohli, who scored a half-century in the final at the Wankhede Stadium, said: "We won the World Cup because we played well throughout and deserved to win the tournament. We can't play with the pressure of being world champions. We are left with this one-day series to prove a point and all of us are eager to do well."