Kohli sounded a warning to his players that they should remain wary of the bad habits the IPL can bring in, specially with its packed scheduled that might end up in players getting fatigued. @ PTI

India face Australia in two Twenty20 Internationals beginning on Sunday and five ODIs in what will be their last assignment before the ICC World Cup 2019. After the series, players from both teams will head to their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises for Season 12 of the cash-rich bonanza which will get underway on March 23. (ALSO READ: IPL 2019: IPL releases schedule for first two weeks, CSK to face RCB in opener)

India captain Virat Kohli sounded a warning to his players that they should remain wary of the bad habits the IPL can bring in, specially with its packed scheduled that might end up in players getting fatigued. With the World Cup in sight, the captain, who hinted that the team has their World Cup plans sorted, does not wish to see any of his 15 players in discomfort due to an incident that has occurred in the IPL which could have been avoided. (ALSO READ: IPL 2019: No opening ceremony this year, money will go to Pulwama martyrs’ families)

“All the people who are going to be part of the World Cup squad, they have to make sure that their games don’t go too much away from the one-day mould of things,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the first T20I at Visakhapatnam.

“That means we will have to be very wary of the bad habits that might creep in during the IPL. From a personal point of view, I would look to continue in the same way that I have in all formats over the years and not do anything fancy because as I said, frame of mind is the most important thing getting into the World Cup. We need 15 people who are confident and mentally happy about where their game is at that particular moment. That will take a consistent effort from all the players during the IPL to keep a check on that. (VIDEO: Virat Kohli and Co. cannot let ICC World Cup defending champions gain momentum)

“The moment we enter the nets and create bad habits, and you lose momentum, you lose batting form, it is very difficult to get it back in a tournament like the World Cup. So, from that point of view, everyone will have to protect that mindset and be aligned towards what the team requires of them.”

He also advised that his players should understand that amount of preparation and rest that is required and sometimes, can opt to skip games if their team is in a good place.

“The amount you practice, with the amount of travel during the IPL and the number of games in different conditions, in different temperatures, it is going to be challenging, to be honest. But as a cricketer, you have to map out how many practice sessions you really need. If you are hitting the ball well, there is no need to go to a practice session and tire yourself out for three hours whereas you can utilise that particular phase to rest and recover even more. (ALSO READ: Virat Kohli on Indo-Pak World Cup game: We stick by what the nation wants to do)

“I think those things need to be kept in mind. If your team is in a great position during the tournament, you don’t mind taking 2-3 games off also. It all depends on how you feel physically but everyone has to be really honest about it to themselves and accordingly see how they feel and not push themselves to the limit that might hamper the Indian team later on. I think we will all have to take responsibility for that,” he said. (VIDEO: Deep Dasgupta list five things Indian fans can watch out for in upcoming Australia series)

Quizzed whether the inclusion of Punjab leg-spinner Mayank Markande, who earned a maiden call-up will be looked into for the World Cup, Kohli explained that the youngster has been rewarded purely for his performance in the last year.

“Look, he’s been given an opportunity because he’s done well. How it changes things during the World Cup, I’m not looking at this particular selection or change as something that will really disrupt our plans for the World Cup. It’s purely giving a youngster a chance, who has done well over the last couple of seasons and bowled well in the IPL and T20 cricket. That’s purely from that point of view, and definitely will not hamper any of our plans going into the World Cup,” he said. (ALSO READ: How a hesitant Mayank Markande switched from pace to spin)

“We’re more or less sorted (with our World Cup plans). But through the course of the series, you might see something which might surprise you as a team and which you might want to change immediately. But those are things that are upon how circumstances come in front of you. As of now, we feel pretty balanced as a side and I don’t see any concerns or areas that we need to think about anymore. Everything is more or less sorted.”