India skipper Virat Kohli believes that managing the workload of the pace battery will be key if the side are to make a big splash in the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC).
Kohli and his men have made an excellent start to the maiden two-year cycle of the WTC with a massive 318-run win over West Indies in the first Test at Antigua. Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah was the chief architect of India’s big win on Sunday with the 25-year-old finishing with sensational figures of 5-7 in the second West Indies innings.
The India pacer had been rested for the preceding T20 and ODI clashes in the West Indies and Kohli feels India need to take a similar approach going forward with the fast bowlers in the side.
“That’s probably the most important thing for us right now, managing player workloads,” Kohli stated after India’s 318-run win in the first Test.
“That’s why he (Bumrah) didn’t play any white-ball cricket after the World Cup because we wanted him to be fresh for the Tests. He is going to be a key factor for us as long as the Test championship continues.
“We know how good a bowler he is. And the impact he can make in a spell.”
India’s formidable pace arsenal has impressed on successive overseas tours of South Africa, England, Australia and now the West Indies but Kohli stressed on the need of managing the workloads carefully if the performances are to be kept up.
“Mohammed Shami is the same (as Bumrah). Ishant Sharma is a banker for years now. And he can make an impact in any spell he bowls,” the India skipper said.
“Those three together are bowling really well. Umesh Yadav hasn’t had a game, and we have Navdeep Saini, who can bowl 150 clicks, waiting in the wings.
“We are pretty settled as far as our bowling options are concerned. Managing workloads and the number of overs we bowl is going to be a key factor for us.”
Kohli and India will now look to seal the series against West Indies when they take on the hosts in the second and final Test beginning at Kingston on Friday.
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