Indian international cricketer Shikhar Dhawan replaced Murali Vijay after his wrist injury in the squad before they tour of Sri Lanka. But, skipper Virat Kohli gave some advice for Dhawan or Abhinav Mukund, whoever opens alongside KL Rahul in the first Test in Galle.
Kohli thinks that both should take care it as an opportunity and should not feel pressure to perform. The 28-year-old India’s skipper said during the media conference “Every player comes to the team wanting to perform. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the sport. Vijay was back from rehab and played a game and told selectors he was not matched fit. That is the kind of culture being created. People are honest.”
Kohli further added, “Abhinav (Mukund) is there, he has played lot of domestic cricket. Shikhar got a hundred here last time and then he had to miss couple of games. (Cheteshwar) Pujara opened in the last Test (in Dharamsala). So guys are looking these scenarios as opportunities rather than getting under pressure. I am sure they are going to be up for it.”
Kohli feels that his team need to change their performance from white ball to red ball. Sri Lanka performs well against Zimbabwe in the recently ended series. “Remember we came here two years back after tour of Australia, we were six or seven in the rankings.”
“That particular series in Sri Lanka gave us belief. It taught us to come together as a team. Everyone in the team knows this is where it all started after losing the first Test in Galle. It was a dent for us. The way we came together on the last tour is iconic for us.”
Talking about Sri Lanka senior spinner Rangana Herath, who took 15 wickets in the last two years series, Kohli said “He is such a good bowler. If you don’t find a solution to tackle him, then he will do what he did at Galle. You have to stay a step ahead of the opposition and find ways to counter it. If mistakes happen consistently and then you are not improving as a side.”
Indian new head coach Ravi Shastri feels that his team will play fearless performance against Sri Lanka in their upcoming tournament.