Kuldeep Yadav has a great chance of playing in Pallekele Test: Virat Kohli

Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli wants his team to focus on the game rather than think of the prospects of series whitewash when they take on Sri Lanka national cricket team in the third and final Test in Pallekele

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 11, 2017 19:40 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Pallekele
India vs Sri Lanka,Sri Lanka vs India,SL vs IND
Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli hinted that Kuldeep Yadav is going to replace Ravindra Jadeja (who is serving a one-match ban) in the playing XI for the third Test against Sri Lanka national cricket team in Pallekele starting on Saturday. (Getty Images)

With India standing on the verge of their first series whitewash in Sri Lanka has pumped up Virat Kohli’s boys. But excitement can also make you lose control, believes the India skipper.

So Kohli wants his boys to focus on one session at a time. “For us it’s about playing another Test match and trying to win another Test match. We have already won the series. But as I said it doesn’t mean that we can be complacent,” Kohli said.

“I personally feel that it’s (clean sweep) just a distraction that causes people to be over excited and look too far ahead. I think we need to stay in the present and treat every session with respect to win a Test, and that’s exactly what we want to follow,” he said.

There will be one forced change in the 11. Kuldeep Yadav could get to play his first overseas Test following Ravindra Jadeja’s suspension.

“A Chinaman bowler is always something which is an x-factor, and his confidence is up. He has a great chance of playing tomorrow and I wish him all the best,” said Kohli.

“He (Kuldeep) has proven himself in Dharamsala which was not such a spin friendly wicket on the first 2-3 days. He turned the game around for us. So he has the ability, which is very rare to find.”

Testing the bench will have to wait. Kohli believes a Test match is not the platform for it. “We certainly don’t want to take anything lightly and play the same kind of cricket that we have and hopefully retain the team that played the last Test as much as we can. We are not thinking of too many changes, especially in this format because we don’t want to start taking things for granted. We are not thinking about drastic changes.”

The rains leading to the cancellation of the team’s practice session, the combination Virat had in mind was based on how the wicket looked two days ago. After receiving the news that the local groundstaff have been working on the surface, the Indian team management went to have a look at the wicket.

“We heard there were some changes to the pitch so they (coaches) have gone to check how things look at this stage, so we will have more clarity on what we need to go in with,” said Kohli, who was not too stressed about missing on practice due to the rains.

“Everyone is playing good cricket and everyone is bowling well. So we feel absolutely comfortable going into the Test match even though we didn’t practice today.”

The extra time the captain got, Kohli would have used to apply his mind on the combination he wants for the upcoming one-day series, the selection for which will be on the second day of the Test.

While confirming his availability for the limited overs contests, Kohli said: “Yes definitely we are going to sit down on selection soon and we certainly have plans in mind and combinations that we want to speak about. So as captain I am definitely in the thick of things and knowing what to speak to the committee about.”

First Published: Aug 11, 2017 17:21 IST