Hyderabad: With India winning the first Test in Rajkot and this being the two-Test series, Indian skipper Virat Kohli felt that West Indies team will come hard at them in the second Test aiming to level the series.
Speaking on the eve of the second Test in Hyderabad, Kohli said that they need to be on top of their game. “They (Windies) are going to come back strong and hard at us since it is just two-match series. We are aware of the fact and we have to be on top of our game and make sure that anything difficult situation we face we should come out of it with sensible cricket.”
The Indian skipper also had a lot of praise for the youngster Prithvi Shaw who scored a century in his debut match in Rakot. “I don’t think he should be rushed into anything yet. You have to give him time to grow. This guy is supremely talented and got great ability. We definitely think that he has what it takes to play at the highest level. We believe he can keep repeating the performances because he is a keen learner and a sharp guy and understand situations. We should not compare him with anyone. We should put him in his space and left him to enjoy himself.”
He further added that the amount of cricket the youngsters play these days helps them ease the nerves. “These youngsters are already exposed to the environment that an international game would replicate. It is not as intense as it was 10-15 years back when you didn’t have any exposure to this kind of cricket. Most of them played in IPL so they are not nervous of big stage. Yes they might have the pressure or eagerness to perform. So these young guys (Rishabh Pant, Shaw), even Hanuma Vihari, are supremely confident.”
Kohli also had a word of praise for the slip cordon that is doing extremely well in the recent past and putting in hard yards in the practice is the reason.
He further vouched for the use of Dukes balls instead of SG balls because of the deteriorating quality of the latter. “I don’t know why the quality of the SG balls has been deteriorating. If given a choice, I would vouch for Dukes balls. The seam is hard and bowlers are in the game throughout. The soft balls are the reason for dull sessions in Test matches,” he added.
‘We have plan in place for Shaw’
Meanwhile, Windies all-rounder Roston Chase said that they have plans in place for Shaw who took them by surprise in the first Test. “We were undone by the huge total by Indians in the first innings. With over 600 runs on the board, it was a tough ask. Shaw also took us by surprise with his aggressive knock. We have discussed about him in the team meeting and we have a plan in place for him.”
He also hoped that their batsmen will apply themselves better in this Test. “After a long first innings, our batsmen were tired. They could not get going. And it was our intent to go hard in the second innings. But the way we lost wickets was not ideal. It was lack of application from our side.”