ICC World Test Championship: Virat Kohli and Co not focussed on WTC final, says “there is no point of adding extra pressure”

ICC World Test Championship: India will not be making the same mistake twice. Virat Kohli during the pre-match conference said that the hosts will not be focussing on the World Test Championship (WTC) final which cost them the series in New Zealand in February 2020. There focus will be on the upcoming Test series against England starting Friday.

“In New Zealand, we did discuss it (WTC final) a bit and that could have added extra pressure on us to do every thing so precisely. We ended up being under pressure a little bit. But from Australia onwards, it was all about following a good process, preparing well, going out there and just understanding the situation and making sure we play according to the situation,” said Kohli said.

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“In this Australia series, we didn’t speak of winning because of WTC. I think it is a by-product of your team doing well anyway. There’s no point adding extra pressure. For us it remains a game of cricket, one session at a time. One hour at a time. That is how success is achieved in the longest format of the game.

So no point thinking about something that is still months. It is important to stay in the present and take one day at a time and move forward,” he added.

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Ind vs Eng: Rishabh Pant to return to playing XI

Kohli highlighted how Pant played a massive role in India’s win over Australia in the Test series last month and confirmed that the hosts will go ahead with Pant for the first Test.

“Yes, Rishabh (Pant) will start tomorrow. He had a massive impact in Australia and is in a good headspace and we want him to build on this along with all the aspects of his game which will happen with time,” said Kohli during the virtual press conference on Thursday.

“He’s come along very nicely after the IPL and then in Australia, he wasn’t the part of white-ball formats but he kept working worked hard in his fitness and in his game,” he further said.

“All of us were very happy to see him because he is someone who we have backed quite a lot for good reasons and because of what we saw in Australia and that shows that he brings a lot of value he can definitely be a consistent match-winner for India,” Kohli added.

Jasprit Bumrah will be playing his first Test at home on Friday and Kohli said the India pace spearhead will be excited to have his home debut.

“We outbowled England’s pacers the last time we played them at home. Jassi (Bumrah) will be keen to play his maiden home Test and it’s exciting to know we have options like Mohammed Siraj and Ishant Sharma as well,” said Kohli.
The first Test will be played from Friday, while the second is slated to begin on February 13.