India captain Virat Kohli on Monday said he is willing to bat in any position to accommodate Suryakumar Yadav in the T20I side if the Mumbai continues to bat the way he has been.
Speaking at a virtual press conference ahead of the three-match One-Day International series against England, Kohli said that India will figure out their combination for the shortest format closer to the start of the T20 World Cup later this year.
“Firstly, the combination that plays on the field, the selectors do not have any role in that just like the management does not have any role in who gets selected. Secondly, as Rohit mentioned it was a strategic move, but we did enjoy batting together in the last T20I. It is not a guarantee that it is going to be continued in the future,” said Kohli.
“I am going to open in the IPL to keep all options open. I have batted at three, four and now I need to understand my role as an opener which I have done successfully in the past in T20 cricket so that I provide an option to open up a slot for someone like Surya, if he can continue to bat like that, I should be open to playing any kind of role that the team requires me to. We will have a conversation about this when we get closer to the T20 World Cup. It would be interesting to see how I go about my job as an opener in the IPL,” he added.
The skipper said that playing an ODI series in a T20 World Cup year is not an issue as every game for India is important for the players.
“Look, it is a difficult one. Scheduling is something that is not in our control. For us, in international games, every game is important and every game has value. It is an opportunity to represent your team and for us, that remains the sole focus. Yes, along the way as I have said in the past, scheduling and workload are something everyone will be very aware of.”
Kohli also criticised the fiercely-debated umpire’s call in the Decision Review System, saying it is creating a lot of confusion and LBW dismissals should be based solely on whether the ball is hitting the stumps, even if marginally.
As per the existing rule, at least 50% of the ball should be hitting at least one of the three stumps for the batsman to be adjudged LBW on review in case an umpire’s call has been challenged.
“I played for a long time when there was no DRS. If the umpire made a decision, whether the batsman liked it or not, it stayed like that. Vice versa the umpire gave it not out and it was out, it stayed like that, whether it was marginal or not,” said Kohli ahead of the first ODI of a three-match series against England which begins in Pune on Tuesday.
“According to me, umpire’s call right now is creating a lot of confusion. When you get bowled as a batsman, you don’t expect the ball to hit more than 50% into the stumps to consider yourself bowled.
“So from basic cricket common sense, I don’t think that there should be any debate on that. If the ball is clipping the stumps, that should be out whether you like it or not, you lose the review.”
Kohli, who was critical of the on-field soft signals following Suryakumar Yadav’s dismissal during the T20 series against England, said the game has to be kept simple.
“That’s how simple the game has to be if it hits the stumps, or it misses the stumps. It doesn’t matter how much it’s hitting, and those kinds of things, because it’s creating a lot of confusion. One more factor that needs to be considered is that, you know, how the fielding team responds to a dismissal that is claimed is also somewhere defining soft signals as well,” he said.
“You have to question what the spirit of the game is and what those guidelines are, because if things like that happened with the Indian cricket team overseas, then you are talking about a totally different conversation of the spirit of the game...,” he added.
Kohli said the things could come to a head in high-stakes tournaments if controversial umpiring calls end up affecting results.
“...there’s a lot at stake in the future with the big tournaments, and you don’t want some grey area factors in the game, which leaves you with no clarity to be the defining factors of those big tournaments.”
(With inputs from PTI)
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