India have strong chance of success in England, says captain Virat Kohli

India have strong chance of success in England, says captain Virat Kohli

India play Ireland in two Twenty20 Internationals from June 27 and later head to England for three T20Is, three ODIs, and five Tests till September 11.

Addressing a press conference along with coach Ravi Shastri ahead of the team's departure, Kohli said: "Our strategy will be the same as it was during the tour to South Africa and Sri Lanka".

But the top-order batsman, who pulled out of his county stint with Surrey after a neck injury during the Indian Premier League, insisted that he is fit and raring to go.

"I know when I am in good zone I play well". I have had the good practice. "I went through the fitness test as well so the body is feeling fine".

After losing the first two Tests India came back to win the third five-day match and ODI and T20 series to end on a high. "This kind of break makes you excited to go back to field again", he added. Although the injury forced him to miss a stint in the English County with Surrey, the India skipper said being fully fit and "looking forward" to the series was more important than landing in the United Kingdom "90 percent". Is he disappointed to have missed out on a county stint? "So I wanted to acclimatize to the damp conditions". "If the team has momentum then you can do anything", Kohli said. "I need to be fresh and that was the best thing to happen". "I am actually looking to enjoy the country and not even thinking of cricket right now", Kohli said when asked about his own poor form on the previous England tour. "I am at 110 percent and ready to go". "But yes, as the captain of the team I'd like to put in performances myself and I like to take the team along, motivate them and boost them in any way possible".

India's last tour to England under Mahendra Singh Dhoni was disastrous for India since they suffered a 1-3 loss. "I think a lot of people have held on to the last tour for too long".

England posted a limited-overs world record score of 481-6 in the third one-day worldwide at Trent Bridge and are set to take on India in three T20's and three one-day fixtures starting on July 3rd.

Those numbers will be swelled by viewing figures in cricket-mad India, where more than 325 million people watched The Men in Blue against Pakistan in last year's Champions Trophy. "We are actually looking forward to playing more hard cricket after the South Africa series", he added.

He added: "Our focus will be on winning the match, it won't be about what me or any one player does on the tour".

Sachin Tendulkar too raised concern on Friday, tweeting it was a "recipe for disaster" as bowlers can't reverse the ball that doesn't get old. What has been the difference for us is the two X-factors in the middle overs.

"Not every side has that cushion so they find it hard". The change had sparked a debate on the relevance of a player's fitness levels versus their talent.

"You may have the skills but if you have fitness, you can enhance that ability". That's why we emphasise on YoYo test. "The philosophy is simple: you pass, you play". This is not going to go away. "The captain leads from the front, selectors are on same page, entire team management is on the same page and boys have responded tremendously well", the former India captain made it clear as to where he stood on the issue.

The preparations aside, do India have a specific strategy for England?

Benign pitches in the latter half of the British summer played a part in England amassing a world record 481 in Trent Bridge, which has set the cricket world abuzz. That is where the mindset changes...



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