Kohli Careful 'bad Habits' Is To Sneak In The Course Of The IPL > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Kohli wary of 'bad habits' creeping in during IPL

"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" - Kohli

The preparations for the World Cup are well and truly underway, if you were in any doubt at all. On Friday at Vishakapatnam, the venue for the first T20I between India and Australia, Virat Kohli's press conference was dominated by questions regarding India's set up ahead of the all-important tournament in England, later this year. It even led to the India captain opining that the teams, both his and the opponent, would have been better served had the two T20Is were instead organised as ODIs.

India will play two T20Is and five ODIs, their last assignments before the World Cup, before each of the players head to their individual franchises to play in the Indian Premier League. There will be a barrage of T20 games, and as Kohli warned his teammates, bad habits can creep in and then be exposed during India's World Cup campaign. Kohli put the responsibility on the players, saying he hoped each of them 'protects' their mindset and does not swing away from what was needed for the ODIs.

"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 stressed. "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. 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."

Kohli also added that the players need to be aware of the amount of preparation, and more importantly rest, that was required and work their practice sessions out accordingly. With the IPL increasingly looking like the teams will follow the usual home-and-away format, the players will be subjected to truckloads of travel and games. While game time and rhythm can be good things, the risk of players getting fatigued or injuring themselves increases multifold. Kohli even went as far as suggesting that players can take games off if their teams are already in a good place in the IPL.

"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.

"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.

The reason Kohli kept highlighting his players needing to be responsible and 'honest to themselves' could well be because he sees the team in near-perfect shape ahead of the World Cup. Asked if the inclusion of Mayank Markande, the legspinner from Punjab, could throw a spanner in the works, Kohli said that the youngster's selection was purely a reward for his good performances, and will certainly not disrupt India's World Cup plans.

"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.

"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."

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