Kohli well prepared for England challenge, says coach

Virat Kohli will be Yuvraj Singh’s replacement who is out of the Test series due to fractured index finger AFP

New Delhi: Aug 5, 2011

Drafted into the side to infuse some stability to the vulnerable lower middle-order for the remaining two Tests against England, Indian batsman Virat Kohli is keen to make optimum use of the opportunity to cement his place in the national Test team.

Delhi boy Kohli has been called up to join the injury-hit Indian team, trailing 0-2 in the four-match series, as replacement for Yuvraj Singh, who have been ruled out of the rest of the Test series against England due to fractured left index finger.

As the visitors gear up to counter a rampaging England in the crucial third Test at Edgbaston after crushing to humiliating defeats in the first two, the 22-year-old Kohli believes that he will be able to justify his selection in the squad.

“Kohli is treating the England tour like a challenge.

Before leaving for England to join the team, Kohli told me that he wants to make full use of the opportunity and justify his selection,” Kohli’s coach Rajkumar Sharma told ‘PTI Bhasha’.

“Kohli is desperate to win back his place in the Indian Test squad. He knows that it would be difficult to counter England’s seam attack under hostile conditions but my boy is ready for the challenge. With India’s No 1 Test status in danger and visitors trailing 0-2 in the series, Kohli believes that it will be his real test of character,” he added.

Kohli has been a regular member of India’s One-day squad and is a vital cog in the IPL’s Royal Challenger Bangalore line-up.

But his Test debut against a below-par West Indies last month has been well short of auspicious. He only managed to accumulate 76 runs in the three-Test series against the Caribbean opponents and was subsequently dropped for the England tour.

It will be a big challenge for Kohli to weather the storm stirred up by England’s potent pace attack as he has not played there before.

The former Delhi Ranji player, Sharma also informed that Kohli left for England early this morning.