Ahead of crucial Melbourne Test, Virat Kohli asks India’s batsmen to step up

Ahead of crucial Melbourne Test, Virat Kohli asks India’s batsmen to step up

Indian captain Virat Kohli has sent a strong message to his team reminding about their responsibility to resist with the bat with more force.

Virat Kohli press conference
Virat Kohli press conference. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

India have seen a couple of 123s in the two Tests they have played against Australia in the ongoing series Down Under and while one of them helped India win a game, the other could not. The reason for the failure is that India have shown much dependence on one or two batsmen while collectively they have failed to fire. This is something which has affected India’s performance in overseas series repeatedly and Indian captain Virat Kohli has sent a strong message to his team reminding about their responsibility to resist with the bat with more force.

India won the first Test in Adelaide despite facing a batting debacle on the very first morning and the saviour on the occasion was Cheteshwar Pujara’s magnificent hundred. In the second Test, too, it was Kohli’s ton that saved the visitors some embarrassment in the first innings in Perth though India eventually lost the game. The series now stands 1-1 and the team which wins the third match in Melbourne will not lose it.

That India were desperate to make some difference in the series was evident when they dropped both their out-of-touch openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay for the third Test and assigned the task to Hanuma Vihari and debutant Mayank Agarwal. It will not be an easy task either for them but yet the visitors are ready to take a chance to arrest the slide. The bowlers have been performing consistently well in overseas tours and now it is time for the batters to match their show.

Batsmen need to back bowlers, says Kohli

“It is very important for batsmen to stand up because as everyone can see, our bowling has been performing really well. Otherwise, the bowlers won’t be able to do anything with the totals that we have been compiling,” Kohli, India’s only batsman to have scored with consistency on foreign soils, said on the eve of the Boxing Day Test. In Perth, the Indian captain hit his 25th Test ton and became the second quickest after Donald Bradman to achieve the feat, pushing compatriot Sachin Tendulkar to the third spot.

“If we are batting second, we will try to take the lead or get as close to the opposition total as possible. If you equal a big score, then it becomes a second-innings’ match and if you take a good first-innings lead, then you can capitalize on that,” Kohli added.

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