‘No reason to change winning combination’ – Virat Kohli hints at an unchanged playing XI for Headingley Test
The third Test at Headingley will commence on August 25.
Updated - Aug 24, 2021 6:07 pm
India skipper Virat Kohli has somewhat dropped a hint on the visitors going unchanged for the third Test against England at Headingley. India are currently leading the series 1-0 after a sensational win at Lord’s on the final day and will be looking to ride home the advantage. For the same reason, Kohli reckons there is no need to tinker the winning combination especially after a brilliant win at the Home of cricket.
This could mean more time on the bench for the off-spinner Ravi Ashwin. Having said that, the Indian captain is not completely ruling out Ashwin at the moment and suggested that they will pick the final XI based on the conditions. India are playing at Headingley for the first time since 2002 and the venue is known to assist spinners often. It remains to be seen if the premier offie plays for his team and if yes, then whom will replace.
“We don’t have any reason to change anything unless people have niggles, which we haven’t encountered. A winning combination, you don’t want to disturb. Especially after the second Test and players are even more excited to take field. As far as Ashwin playing is concerned, we were surprised to see the surface at Lord’s.
“I didn’t expect, I thought there would be more grass and spice. Anything is possible, we name a 12 and then according to conditions we pick,” Virat Kohli said in the pre-match press conference.
We think we can beat anyone, says Virat Kohli
England are missing their key players in Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood (only for third Test) for different reasons. With England’s top-order also considerably weak, they have the best chance to win the Test series in the country for the first time since 2007. However, Kohli feels his team would’ve beaten even as full strength and they have that belief.
“Does that (best chance to beat weakened England in Test series) depend on the strength of the opposition? Even when the key players are playing, we think we can beat anyone. We don’t wait for the opposition to be weak,” the 32-year-old further added.