India vs Australia: Virat Kohli All Praise For Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah Ahead Of 1st T20I
India begin their long campaign in Australia with the first T20I at Brisbane on Wednesday.
Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah have the ability to handle the pressure situation
Australia will miss their prominent batsmen Smith and Warner
Kohli has assured that his team's focus will be only on cricket
Virat Kohli expressed his confidence in India's pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah ahead of the first T20 International against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane on Tuesday. According to the Indian skipper, both Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah have the ability to handle the pressure situation. Bhuvneshwar has 31 wickets to his name from as many T20Is, while Bumrah has claimed 46 in 37 matches so far. Leading the pace-attack, the duo has proved much effective in death overs. "Bhuvi, Bumrah both are good. They have the ability to predict what is going to happen in each ball," Kohli said at the pre-match press conference in Brisbane.
With batsmen known to play aggressively in the T20 format, Kohli came in support of his bowlers, saying they mostly bring results with their experiments.
"They do get dominated by the batsmen sometimes like everyone does. But 85 to 90 percent, they are correct," he added.
In the long tour, comprising three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs, Australia will miss their prominent batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner. Both Smith and Warner are currently serving a one-year ban for their involvement in the infamous match-fixing scandal in South Africa in March. Besides the former captain-deputy pair, batsman Cameron Bancroft was also banned for nine months by the Cricket Australia.
On Tuesday, Cricket Australia refused to reduce their punishment after a players' union submitted a request for a review in the case. CA interim chairman Earl Eddings said the board had "determined that it is not appropriate to make any changes to the sanctions handed down to the three players".
With no Smith and Warner and coming out of an unforgettable phase, Australia won't receive any "ball-tampering" comment from the Indian team. Captain Kohli has assured that his team's focus will be only on cricket and it won't bring other matters in discussion.
"Focus on what I need, help my team mates. I don't think of other things. Other things are connected to sport but my main focus is the game. Don't think there's any side who doesn't have weaknesses," Kohli said.
Kohli was all praise for the second-ranked Indian T20I team, which recently registered a 3-0 whitewash against the Windies at home.
"The quality of Indian cricket has gone up. We will try to maintain it for as long as possible. We have 11 people striving for excellence," he said.
India have a better record against the Aussies in T20I cricket. In their last eight T20Is against Australia, India have won seven, which includes a 3-0 series sweep in 2016.
However, the whitewash victory came under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, who is not a part of India's T20I squad that is competing Down Under.