India vs England, 3rd Test: Virat Kohli ‘excited’ by Jasprit Bumrah’s return at Trent Bridge
Jasprit Bumrah, who last played a Test in South Africa, has given Viray Kohli reason to feel confident. @Getty Images

Virat Kohli has confirmed the return of Jasprit Bumrah  for the third Test against England starting tomorrow at Trent Bridge, saying that the fit-again fast bowler offers India an “exciting” and “attacking” option as they seek to stay alive in the five-match series.

India have the bowlers to take 20 wickets, as they showed across three Tests in South Africa and at Edgbaston, and having Bumrah, who last played a Test in South Africa, back to full strength gave Kohli, who also confirmed his presence at Trent Bridge,  reason to feel confident.

“Very excited with Jasprit getting fit. He’s an attacking bowler, he bowls good lines and lengths, he’s very consistent in hitting the areas that are required at the Test level,” Kohli told reporters in Nottingham on Friday. “He’s shown that in South Africa already. He’s one guy who’s really aggressive in his mind. He wants to take the situation front on and make the batsmen feel uncomfortable. That has been his biggest strength and he relishes the challenge whenever given the opportunity. We’re very excited that he’s coming back. He’s a quality bowler and its great to have someone like him on the park.”

Bumrah’s inclusion for Trent Bridge, said Kohli, did not give the Indian team management further selection dilemmas.  “The guys who have been bowling well are the ones who are going to start, and thats something that everyone is aware of,” he said.

Asked about possible team combinations, Kohli was drawn to the nature of the Trent Bridge pitch. Edgbaston was somewhat two-paced, and England won by 31 runs. Lord’s was expected to be drier, but plenty of rainfall changed it into a wildly seaming surface on which James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes bowled India out inside three extended days. In Nottingham, conditions are expected to once again assist the seam bowlers and with Ben Stokes included for Sam Curran, there his further indication that India could play four fast bowlers.

Kohli, however, was non-committal. “Depends on what the surface is like,” he said. “If there’s enough assistance for the bowlers then an extra batter might come into play, but if not .. if the pitch is going to be quite even for batting and bowling, then obviously picking up 20 wickets is going to be the priority.

“The batsmen will still need to take responsibility and get the runs on the board, but if you don’t get 20 [wickets] like I’ve said in the past, you can score as many as you want. It’s not about saving one discipline; its about one discipline taking responsibility of their job and the other discipline of theirs. Possibilities are there, looking at how exciting or how spicy the wicket is going to be.”