It has been witnessed quite often that retired cricketers prefer to play in the T20 leagues but the Indian skipper Virat Kohli reckons that he wouldn’t even be “seen around the scene” the day he is “totally spent” to pick up the bat again. Responding to a question on whether he would consider playing in the Australian Big Bash League (BBL) after retiring or if the BCCI lifts the bar on its players, Kohli said he would not be considering to even pick the bat after retirement.
Talking about his retirement plans, “Look I don’t know whether that stance is going to change in the future. As far as I am concerned, playing more cricket when I am done, I don’t think I am in that zone, to be honest. I have played enough cricket in the last five years and I cannot comment on even the first thing I do when I retire because I don’t feel like I am going to pick up the bat again. I will be spent, the day I finish I will be totally spent and that’s the reason I am going to stop playing cricket. So I don’t see myself coming back and playing again. Once I am done, I will be done, and I won’t be seen around the scene.”
Kohli also showered praises for his team’s batting line-up and said the team is looking good into the ODI World Cup starting May 30 in England.
The skipper explained, “In the last 12 months, our ODI batting has been very strong and openers are a very big factor in that. There was a phase in the middle when we addressed the issue of middle overs and from 25-40 overs we tried to change our batting style. Where our batting is at the moment, the team management and I are very comfortable because we have resulted in ODI cricket and performances have been very good as well.”
On a high after the maiden Test series triumph on Australian soil, India has been hit by an unsavory off-field controversy due to Pandya and K L Rahul’s questionable comments on women on a TV show. The two are facing the prospect of being banned for a couple of matches.
Describing the solution for the same, Virat said, “We played in India against the West Indies with a finger spinner and a wrist spinner. So it’s good that we have someone like Jadeja who can do the all-rounder’s role if a scenario like that occurs. So we are not too stressed as a team (about the Pandya situation) because you’ll always have things that you can do in terms of creating that balance for the side. And hence, we keep players who can provide balance with bat and ball as a backup anyway.”
Pandya and Rahul might not be available for the start of this three-match series, and combined with Bumrah’s absence, the Indian skipper feels that this is an opportunity to experiment with a few more pacers before the finalizing preferred attack for the World Cup.
Virat elaborated, “What’s exciting is that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is coming back into the scenario. Khaleel Ahmed has done well when given the opportunities. Mohammed Shami has the skill to provide you breakthroughs with the new ball. So he has the chance to establish himself as the member of the pace quartet or how many ever will go to the World Cup. We’ve wanted to figure out who apart from Kumar and Bumrah are the two or three more guys we can bank on. I think it’s a great opportunity for all these guys who are going to step in to show what they have and seal a spot for themselves.”
The Indian skipper also said the team is enthusiastically looking ahead to the World Cup after the historic Test triumph here.
Kohli said, “…after a series like that and a high like that, it’s good to have another big event like the World Cup in sight because that keeps you motivated…we’re pretty focused on what we need to do and we understand where we need to head as a team.”
Australia has rested their frontline pace attack of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Mitchell Starc, but Kohli feels it will not have any impact in the series.