I need boys to win matches under pressure: Virat Kohli's message to young people

GUWAHATI: captain of India virat Kohli On Saturday he said it will be difficult for India to win ICC events unless the middle order intensifies and delivers in pressure situations if the higher order has a rare flaw.

India last won an ICC event in 2013 (Champions Trophy), often described as a heavyweight team, which depends on large contributions from the captain or his deputy. Rohit Sharma .

This year's focus on the T20 World Cup and Kohli, in their first interaction with the media of the year, conveyed their expectations to their teammates.

We need boys who are ready up to numbers six and seven to win your games. You cannot depend on two boys or three boys in the batting lineup. You know, that's not how you win ICC tournaments, Kohli said before the first match of the T20 series against Sri Lanka.

So that is our main focus to reveal situations to the boys and wait for them to come into play and become those brave game winners that we should have entered into a great tournament.

Shreyas Iyer has delivered since his return, but has not been tested enough in tense situations. Rishabh pants On the other hand, he has been criticized for not being consistent enough.

These next series will be very exciting to see who stands up in pressure situations, how they react when Rohit or I or KL or Shikhar on the top have not shot.

Similarly, with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar & Deepak Chahar injured & Mohammed Shami rested, this series will give an opportunity to the tastes of Navdeep Saini & Shardul Thakur to present his selection case for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November.

"I think because the tournament is in Australia, you will need these many options & back-ups ready to be able to take firstly your strongest XI or strongest squad & then have those back-ups in place, who also can come & do the job.

"It's good that we identify five or six guys & it will be priority based on you know who goes & then back-ups will be in place. Also with fast bowlers, we know small niggles can happen every now & then. So yeah, we're pretty sorted in that regard not worried at all."

At the top, Kohli however conceded that he will be in a difficult position once Rohit Sharma returns after being rested for this series.

"As far as the series is concerned, it's pretty straightforward. Both of them will start (Dhawan & Rahul). But when Rohit comes back, you know, it's going to be a difficult thing to address because Shikhar has been an experienced player but KL is playing so well.

"So I think we'll have to decide what's the best combination that we can go with & who are the best XI to take the field," he concluded.

When asked what he had in mind for the team in New Year, Kohli had a lot to say.

We have put the team on the right track in terms of, you know, being the team where everyone wants to be in all formats. I think it's a very exciting position. And that is something we want to continue, to maintain the cricket standards we have played as high as in recent years.

Kohli said there's a cultural change in Indian cricket which is about playing for the team & 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 & that can hamper the team at an important stage.

From a very early age, we are always focused on what we did as individuals. Even when we got back from a game, they always asked us, what did you do instead of winning the team?

"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 & they turned the whole game.

In the recent past there has been a lot of talk about the talented Rishabh pants 's reckless batting & poor wicketkeeping even but the Delhi 21-year-old remains to have firm backing from his team.

"If someone you feel like is going into a shell, pull that guy out saying, don't worry about it, just focus on the team, you'll be fine. So I think these things are very important to address & speak about every now & then. Because as sportsman, we can tend to sort of take a lot of pressure in our own performances," he added.