Virat Kohli promises sterner test for England after Australia series

first_imgIndia skipper Virat Kohli said England will find India tougher opponents after a successful series against Australia, who slumped to a 34-year-old low in the ODI rankings.India will play England in three T20Is starting July 3, three ODIs starting July 12 and five Tests starting August 1.Last month, England whitewashed Australia 5-0 in the ODI series before winning the only T20 International against the visitors. Australia, were of course, without the services of the banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner besides all their first choice bowlers including Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.India, on the other hand, have been dominant across formats for the last two years. When England last toured India, the hosts won the Test series and rounded up victories in the ODI and T20I series.India in England: Krunal, Chahar included in limited-overs squadsMore significantly, India have become stronger and have ironed out their flaws in other areas – they now have options in the middle-order and two lethal wrist arm spinners, who troubled South Africa in their own den as India cruised to a 5-1 victory in the ODI series.Understandably then, Kohli feels India will be far more challenging than an Australian team clearly at its weakest.”We definitely are,” Kohli said a reporter asked if India were stronger than Australia. “We believe in our abilities, and we obviously have a lot of Twenty20 experience.Harbhajan, Azharuddin raise serious questions on Yo-Yo test”We’ve just come off the IPL (Indian Premier League) and a couple of games against Ireland as well — where the team has looked great.”Kohli, who scored 455 runs in 11 limited overs matches in the 2017-18 season, expects a confident England to burst out of the blocks.advertisement”We expect England to come hard at us, and we certainly want to play some positive and hard-fought cricket,” said Kohli. “It’s going to be an exciting series, and we believe we have the side to put up a great fight — and if we win the crucial moments then anything can happen.”India, will however, look to make more of an impact in the Test series. In 2014, they lost the five-match series 1-3 after taking a 1-0 lead at Lord’s. Kohli, who was a far cry from the outstanding batsman he is today, managed only 134 runs in the Test series.However, the 29-year-old skipper is not overtly concerned and said he does not have any specific plans to make up for the failures of four years ago.”I don’t think from the public or outside point of view. Does not matter whether I get runs, I want the team to play well and win. I don’t have a benchmark here just because the 2014 tour did not go well,” he said. “I want the team to play good cricket in England I want to lead from the front. It’s just a set of international matches in another country.”last_img

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