Virat Kohli suffered a blow to his little finger on his left hand while attempting to take a catch during practice in Barsapara. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
With just a day to go for the first Twenty20 International between India and Sri Lanka at the Barsapara stadium, the Indian cricket team have been dealt a major injury scare. Skipper Virat Kohli was practicing at the Barsapara stadium when he was hit on the little finger of his left hand while attempting to take the catch. The incident happened in the first half of India's practice session. Team India physio Nitin Patel rushed to attend Kohli as he was seen applying the magic spray. It is unclear whether Kohli's injury is serious but a final call might be taken before the start of the match.
Before the start of the match, Kohli stressed that it was important for everybody, in particular number six and seven to contribute to the team's winning cause if they have to win major ICC events. The World T20 will be played in Australia in October 2020 and they will be determined to break their winless title run in major ICC trophies since 2014. Shreyas Iyer has delivered ever since his comeback but has not been tested enough in tense situations. Rishabh Pant, on the other hand, has been criticised for not being consistent enough.
"We need guys who are ready till number six and seven to win you games. It can't be dependent on two guys or three guys in the batting line-up. You know, that's not how you win ICC tournaments. So that's our main focus to reveal situations to guys and expect them to come into their own and become those fearless match winners that we should have going into a big tournament. These next few series is going to be very exciting to see who stands up in pressure situations, how they react when may be Rohit or myself or KL or Shikhar at the top have not fired," Kohli said.
India defeated the West Indies 2-1 in their last T20I series, while the Islanders are smarting from a 0-3 rout in Australia. The task for the Lankans appears all the more difficult as they are yet to win a bilateral series against India, across all formats, since Kohli's debut 12 years ago. Since then, they have lost 16 games in a row. Kohli said there's a cultural change in Indian cricket which is about playing for the team and not thinking about individual performances. He also spoke on the pep talk he gave to the players before their first practise session of the new year.
"I think we get involved in the rat race to an extent where we can go into our individual cocoons a lot of the times and that can hamper the team at an important stage. From a very young age, we are always focused on what we did as individuals. Even when we came back from a game, we were invariably asked, what did you do rather than, did the team win? So I think that's a mindset change that I see that happening in the last three years at a very big level where they started to appreciate small performances of guys who might have taken a catch or a great run-out in the game and they turned the whole game," Kohli said.