Captain Virat Kohli addressed the media ahead of Team India’s departure to compete in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 that is slated to begin on May 30 in England and Wales.
Although it would be the third ODI World Cup for Virat Kohli but this will be the first time that he will be leading the team.
“Personally, it will probably be the most challenging World Cup I have been part of because of the format and also the strength of all the teams. If you look at Afghanistan from 2015 to now, they are a completely different side,” Kohli said, welcoming the round-robin format which he felt allowed teams time to regroup between games.
Talking about his side’s first four games, the Indian skipper said: “That sets the tone nicely for us. Everyone will have to be at their best and maintain intensity from the first match onwards. You don’t have any room for complacency and that is why it is the World Cup and the most important tournament.
“We expect that kind of pressure from the first second we step on the field. We are not going to let ourselves think that ‘first week onwards we will get into it’. You have to arrive on the day match ready with hundred percent match intensity and start building from there. This is the challenge.
“If you look at all the top clubs in football they maintain their intensity for three-four months whether in Premier League or La Liga. So why not? If we get on a roll and we maintain our consistency we should be able to do it for the length of the tournament,” Kohli said at the BCCI Headquarters in Mumbai on Tuesday.
“You can take motivation from anywhere, when you talk about Indian Army, if we can do anything for them, it will be the best,” he added.
India’s lethal bowling attack, consisting of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami among others, is pretty much well-set and has been one of the most potent in the the recent years.
However, Kohli and team management will have to decide if they want to go with an extra all-rounder, Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal or both.
Before India begin their 2019 World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5, they will play warm-up matches against New Zealand (May 25) and Bangladesh (May 28).