India vs England: Kohli opens up on injured Shardul Thakur's replacement for 2nd Test

Kohli opens up on injured Shardul Thakurs replacement for 2nd Test

Kohli opens up on injured Shardul Thakur's replacement for 2nd Test


  • India want to add another player who'll help in picking 20 wickets
  • The second Test between India and England will be played at Lord's
  • The opening Test ended in a draw after the fifth day was washed out

Indian captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday stated that Team India will not pick Shardul Thakur's replacement keeping the batting skills in mind ahead of the second Test against England.

On the eve of the second Test, which is scheduled to be played at the Lord's, starting Thursday (Aug. 12), the Indian team confirmed that medium-pacer Thakur ws ruled out due to a hamstring injury that he sustained while training for the Lord's game.

With Thakur out, India could go with either Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav or Ishant Sharma.

In a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Kohli made it clear that he would go with someone who could help the team pick 20 wickets in the second Test.

"Good thing is that Jadeja has got runs in the first Test already and he is going into the second game confident that already makes our batting deeper, the lower order contributed with bat a well. Yes, Shardul brings in more batting ability but having said that from the batsmen's point of view, we are well placed because Pujara, Jinx (Rahane) and myself we didn't score too many," said Kohli on the eve of the second Test.

On being asked who'll replace Thakur, Kohli said," Every game is an opportunity for other batters to step up as well, Rohit and KL (Rahul) played very well and we are very comfortable with how we are placed as a batting unit, and we dont feel that we will be a batsman short if Shardul doesn't play."

ALSO READ: Injury scares for India, England ahead of 2nd Test

As pointed out earlier, Kohli again indicated that the team will be selected on the basis of the first Test's template.

"For us, it's about finding that perfect balance but if someone like Shardul is not available, then we definitely need to think how to pick up 20 wickets and not try to plug in another guy, who can give us some runs with the bat. I think we are very comfortable with how the first Test went," the skipper explained.

Kohli does not feel that the low scores of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara are anything to be concerned about.

"I don't think that's an area of concern. Our basic focus is not to think individually where people are but collectively how much strength they bring into the team is our focus. What's your best and strongest batting unit that you can take on the park," added Kohli.

India's wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has taken an aggressive approach in the two Tests he has played in the UK this summer with mixed results and Kohli does not want his young teammate to change his approach.

'That's basically how he plays. He obviously has the capability to carry on and play long innings in that manner. It doesn't necessarily have to be a very defensive role.

Obviously, when there is a demand of the situation, he (Pant) is intelligent enough to understand if we are looking to save a game. Obviously, he won't play those kinds of shots but wherever there is 50-50 situation and he has a chance to change the momentum of the game he will take that chance. That's how he plays and we want him to be that way," the Indian captain, showing support to Pant, further said.

The 32-year-old also mentioned that the communication from the management is very clear for Pant.

"Obviously, communication is very clear from the team and where we are heading as a team and what kind of approach is needed in different situations. We expect him to play innings that changes momentum and tilt the balance towards us," the Indian skipper signed off.

After the fifth day got washed out in Nottingham, the first Test had ended in a draw. As a result, both India and England earned four points each, according to the new points system of the World Test Championship (WTC). However, India and England were docked two points for slow over-rates.

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