In 2013, in the ODI series against South Africa, Virat Kohli slammed 31 runs off 35 balls and India registered a disastrous defeat in that series. The media mocked Kohli for his poor performance and in 2017, India registered memorable victories in ODI and T20I series on the South African soil. The media showed clips of Kohli struggling to play the likes of Morne Morkel but later the broadcaster was warned by the BCCI for telecasting humiliating content against the Indian cricket team.
Similarly, India faced a gloomy situation due to a forgettable home series with Sri Lanka. Coach Ravi Shastri admitted that it may be a benefit for the team if they started and arrived at South Africa earlier and the test-series result would be better. In that series, Kohli slammed 119 runs and 91 runs to cruise India to draw the test and South Africa won the series. But there was a negotiable betterment in the performance of the team when compared to 2013.
This year, India seems to rectify its faults by arriving England earlier and play a warm-up like series against Ireland. Though England was tougher when it comes to limited overs format, the Indian team has a good practice through IPL season and the T20I series against Ireland.
In this context, Virat Kohli said that “With the major tournament away, it gives you an opportunity to test your bench strength, try out fringe players, test their characters. We are in that zone as well, we are certainly going to try a lot of cricketers as well in the T20 matches, test their characters, test their skills and work out accordingly who will be the next lot to come in, especially to the limited overs format and from there on, they can build on it and play Test cricket as well,”
“We’re certainly going to be a lot more flexible. The idea of having guys go up and down the order [in Ireland] was to give everyone a go – Guys who had scored in the first game and the guys who needed game time in the second. We’re going to be very flexible with the batting unit, we’re not going to be one-dimensional. And that’s something that we’ve spoken about as a batting unit. We could throw in a few surprises here and there through the whole length of the batting innings. Because it is not such a long batting inning, we can afford to do that.
“Even if the situation is not ideal, after taking a decision we can still work on it, capitalize on it. But again you’ve got to be positive. There’s not enough time to think if the situation has gone wrong or it hasn’t. We certainly have to go on with the game, that allows us to be a lot more flexible. And that’s something that we’re going to look at doing in this series,” Kohli added.
The nine-day gap for England series supported Indian team to acquaint with the English climatic conditions and nature of the pitch. However, T20I s are not the need of the hour but they have a massive commercial attention. The World T20 is two years away but the competition between two strongest limited overs team dragged attention of many with fiery English batsmen like Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, and Alex Hales and Indian hitters like Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul.