Kohli Addresses Kuldeep’s Form, Workload in Pre-World Cup Presser


In a press conference before departing for the ICC World Cup, India captain Virat Kohli said he was not worried about the form of his premier spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who was dropped from Kolkata Knight Riders' squad due to poor form in the Indian Premier League (IPL)."We're glad it happened during the IPL rather than happening during the World Cup so he has time to reflect and correct. Kuldeep and Chahal are two pillars of our bowling line-up," said Kohli during the pre-departure press conference at the BCCI headquarters, on Tuesday, 21 May.On Kedar Jadhav, who too wasn't among the runs in the league and then got injured, Kohli said, "we weren't too worried looking at Kedar, he looked like he was in a good head space".
n The 15-member Indian team will leave for English shores on Wednesday, 22 May. With just an 18-day gap between the end of the IPL on 12 May and the beginning of the World Cup on 30 May, there had been a lot of chatter about the cricketers' workload. But Kohli said that all the bowlers had the 50-over format in the back of their mind."All the bowlers in the squad, even in the IPL, they were preparing themselves for 50-over cricket. You saw all the guys bowling, no one looked tired after bowling four overs. They were very fresh. The ultimate goal at the back of their mind was always to be fit for the 50-over format and not necessarily let the fitness come down and that was communicated to them before the IPL started," Kohli said. 'No Room for Complacency'Kohli also said handling pressure at the World Cup will be the most important thing and the team will have to play every game with the same intensity as competition is going to be tough."There cannot be any room for complacency. That's why it is the World Cup. Handling pressure is the most important thing in the World Cup and not necessarily the conditions. All our bowlers are fresh. No one looks fatigued," he said."This is the challenge. It's like top class clubs in the world of football. They maintain their intensity for five months, be it the La Liga or the English Premier League. We have to play every game with the same intensity," said Kohli who will be captaining the team at the event for the first time.All eyes will be on India's clash with arch rivals Pakistan on 16 June. Kohli said they would focus on their own potential and look to play every team on its merit, rather than concentrating too much on one opponent."We have to play to our potential. We can't play thinking about any particular team. We have to maintain our intensity irrespective of the opposition throughout the tournament," the 30-year old stressed. According to head coach Ravi Shastri, if India played to their potential, they can lay their hands on a third trophy. But the competition would be tough as all teams were stronger than before, he added."World Cup might be a stage, but the stage is to be enjoyed. If we play to our potential then the Cup might be back here. It's a tough competition. Even Bangladesh and Afghanistan are much stronger than in 2015," Shastri said.Dhoni Will be a Big Player This World Cup: ShastriMahendra Singh Dhoni will have a massive role in India's bid to regain the World Cup, coach Ravi Shastri."Massive as it has always been," Shastri told reporters when asked what he thinks would be Dhoni's role in the ICC's upcoming showpiece."He is right there, his communication has been fantastic. As a keeper, he has shown over the years that no one is better than him in this format, not just in taking catches, inflicting those run-outs or stumping, these are little moments in the game which can change it on the head and there was no one better than him," he said.Dhoni, who will be playing in his fourth World Cup, amassed 416 runs at an average of 83.2 in the last IPL and led Chennai Super Kings to the final, and Shastri said he was impressed with his footwork during the league.Ravi Shastri"It is great to see the way he was moving in the IPL especially when he was batting, the footwork, the power with which he was hitting the shots, he will be a big player in this World Cup."

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