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Sports Kohli hints at four-bowler strategy for series opener

Kohli hints at four-bowler strategy for series opener

Kohli has always advocated playing five bowlers, as he feels the key to winning Test matches is taking 20 wickets

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North Sound, Antigua: Team India is likely to go into their World Test Championship opener with a four-bowler strategy, hinted skipper Virat Kohli on the eve of the first Test against the West Indies here on Wednesday.

A lively pitch was dished out in the last Test played here between the West Indies and England.

“We could not look at the wicket as it was still covered. After looking at the pitch, it is more or less a choice between three quicks and a spinner or two quicks and two spinners,” Kohli said.

“The last time England played here, pitch had quite a variable bounce so all those factors come into play. But we are very flexible and open at the moment.”

Kohli has always advocated playing five bowlers as he feels the key to winning Test matches is taking 20 wickets.

India will be playing their first Test in more than seven months. India’s last series was a memorable one as they beat Australia for their maiden Test series win Down Under.

Kohli said the triumph remains fresh in the players’ memory as well as the bitter series loss in England. After winning the first Test against Australia, India lost the second one in Perth before bouncing back to win the four-match series 2-1.

“The loss at Perth. It gave us a pretty fair idea of what we needed to do. In terms of going into the next Test in Melbourne and how we needed to approach the game. And that is why we ended up winning the series,” Kohli said.

“In Test cricket, it is all about correcting your mistakes very fast and learning quickly from your loses. And that is what the Test Championship will bring in as well. The team that learns quickly from its mistakes will be in the hunt to reach the top of the Championship. We have learnt quite a bit (in Test cricket). Capitalising when the situation is with us and need to control damage when things are stacked up against us. That is the most important part of Test cricket. You can’t lose six wickets in a session and then expect to comeback,” said the skipper of the number one Test team.

A total of 120 points will be up for grabs in the two-match series beginning here on Thursday, marking the start of India’s World Test Championship campaign.

“It (WTC) put things into perspective. When you have points to gain and you are working towards something then every match becomes that much more important.

“It is going to bring in more competition, more requirement of precise cricket and a lot of discipline. I think the format is going to take the standard of Test cricket higher,” Kohli added.

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