Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who was ruled out of his maiden English county stint due to a neck injury, on Friday confirmed that he was absolutely fit for the upcoming United Kingdom tour, beginning July 3 at the Old Trafford.
Earlier, the 29-year-old sustained the injury during his campaign with the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and was subsequently forced to miss his much-debated maiden English county stint with Surrey.
Reflecting on the same, Kohli said he successfully underwent the fitness test and that he was “completely ready to go” for the upcoming series.
“I am 100 per cent ready to go. The neck is fine now. I’ve had six to seven sessions in Mumbai. I’ve had a good practice and I am absolutely ready to go. I went through the fitness test as well so the body is feeling fine,” Kohli said in a press conference.
“I am actually very excited to get back on the field,” he added.
The swashbuckling batsman further said that being 100 percent fit was his main priority, adding that whatever had happened was for the best.
“I wanted to be 100% fit for the tour and wanted to go there fresh. This thing that happened was the best thing. Although not intended but happened in the best way,” he said.
When quizzed about his side’s playing strategy in the English conditions, Kohli said that as professional players they just needed to focus on the field and perform as a team and not as individuals.
“Winning mindset is something that is important. It is also not about one or two players but team performance- which will be the focus,” he said.
Expressing his views on the two new balls rule, which was recently introduced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in one-day cricket, the right-hand batsman said that it was “brutal” for the bowlers.
“Two new balls rule is brutal for the bowlers. From bowlers’ point of view, no room is left for attacking cricket. Reverse swing used to be the massive factor in the latter half of the innings which was more challenging for batsmen. Nowadays, I feel it’s very difficult for the bowlers with two new balls. If the pitch is flat they literally have no way out,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indian coach Ravi Shastri showed belief in players.
“We don’t play the opposition, we play the pitch. Our job is to conquer the pitch. It remains the same where we go, may it be Johannesburg or Wankhede. The boys know their job,” the Indian coach said.
India are slated to play two T20I against Ireland, starting June 27 before the Kohli-led side will head to England for three-match T20I series, three-match ODI series and five Tests.