Southhampton: After Kagiso Rabada termed Virat Kohli as ‘immature’, the Indian skipper on Tuesday responded to the South African pacer’s comment but meanwhile, also praised him.
Rabada had recently said that Kohli likes to get into verbal spats with opposition team player and when asked about the pacer’s comment, Kohli, on the eve of their ICC Cricket World Cup campaign opener against the Proteas, said mediapersons: “I’ve played against Kagiso many times and I think we can discuss anything that needs to be discussed man-to-man (on Kagiso calling him immature). I don’t need a press conference to answer anything on what he said. Rabada is a world class bowler. He has the kind of skill set to go through any batting order on his day.”
Talking on his team, Kohli also informed that Kedar Jadhav is back to full fitness after his struggle with a shoulder injury.
“Jadhav is back in the mix after reaching full fitness. Ravindra Jadeja is batting with maturity now. We know we have a guarantee with all aspects covered. We are equipped to handle all conditions here,” Kohli said.
Speaking on the ongoing tournament, the 30-year-old said: “We are just happy to start playing. There is a bit of an advantage in understanding how the games have gone (watching the tournament from the sidelines). There is a lot to learn about to composure which we have seen. Teams with composure and making better decisions have had success and it’s important for a tournament like a World Cup.”
Kohli, however, said he was feeling bad for his Indian Premier League (IPL) outfit Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mate Dale Steyn, who has been ruled out of the World Cup on Tuesday after failing to recover from a shoulder niggle.
“I am feeling bad for him. He was happy and was bowling well (at RCB) and then we learn that he can’t continue. He was always motivated to play for South Africa. I can understand his frustrations about it. He was happy with his cricket from what I saw at the RCB,” he said.
Speaking on the present conditions in England, KOhli said: “Cloud cover is different in England as opposed to having the sun out. With two new balls and good batting conditions, an extra seamer will be handy with cloud cover and if pitch has something to offer.”
“It will definitely be challenging for the batsman with early start and we have planned accordingly,” he added.
The India skipper also felt that his team has learnt from the mistakes of the 2017 Champions Trophy when they lost to arch-rivals Pakistan in the final and the captain has said that introducing wrist spinners in the side was a step in that direction.
“The lessons from the Champions Trophy — is to play the cricket we know how to play. In the final, the better side won. We have plugged the gaps. We brought in wrist spinners to take wickets in the middle overs. We are a stronger side than Champions Trophy side.”
The 30-year-old also expressed confidence in his team and said they have a good chance of winning their group stage games.
“The first week has been a gradual progress. A couple of lopsided games, a couple of one-sided games. There is a lot to learn about composure. The teams that are more composed have better chances of winning games, have better chances of handling pressure,” the Indian skipper expressed.