Skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday left it to the fans to decide if there has been an overkill of India-Sri Lanka contest in recent years, something that had led to dwindling interests in a Cricket crazy nation.
India played an away Test series against islanders in 2015 followed by a short limited overs series at home in 2016 and in the current year are playing them full series across formats on home and away basis.
Not to forget, India will again travel to Sri Lanka in 2018 to play the Independence Cup T20 tournament.
When Kohli was asked whether India vs Sri Lanka battle is losing its sheen, he gave a subtle reply.
“It definitely has to be taken into consideration because you don’t want fans going away from the game from watching the game. We have to maintain a balance of how to engage fans and keep players fresh at the same time and keep cricket exciting and keep it competitive throughout the year. That point will be discussed in future definitely,” Kohli dropped enough hints as to what he felt on the issue during the pre-match conference.
The Indian captain feels that fans are one of the biggest stakeholders in the game and they need to be taken into confidence.
“This needs analysis. It has to be done over a period of time by asking the fans who watch the game. For someone watching the game, it is very different than someone involved playing in the game.
“For us, there’s no room for saying that “I don’t want to play this game, or you cannot say I don’t feel like batting while standing on the crease”. There is no room for that because you will get out and the team will lose. we are at our absolute top intensity all the time.”
Kohli made it clear that as cricketers they can only play an opposition that faces them but fans do have a choice to watch what they want to.
“It will be better answered by the fans who watch the game if there’s too much cricket being played or repetition of same series for us it’s about playing cricket for the country and we will do what we are presented with every time a new series comes up.”
The immediate assignment may be against Sri Lanka but Kohli has already set his sights on the “difficult” tour of South Africa, where he is looking forward to embracing the “uncomfortable”.