Indian captain Virat Kohli does not really mince his words; he is a clear communicator and wants his side to be clear about their goals. He has now delivered a strong message to the younger players coming into the side. The skipper has made it clear that ahead of theT20 World Cup next year, the younger players will have only "four or five" opportunities to prove themselves.
"We have 30 odd games (before T20 World Cup). From team's point of view, it is very clear. Even when I got into the team it is not like I was expecting 15 opportunities. You get four to five opportunities and you have to make the most of it. That is the level we are playing at," Kohli told Star Sports in a conversation.
'Delicate balance to strike'
He also cited his own example and said that when he began his career, he never expected to get a bagful of opportunities to stake his claim for any particular spot in the side. He also spoke about the mindset of the team, which believes in making the most of the limited opportunities they get and hoped that younger players coming into the side are in alignment with the temperament of the side.
"I think individuals coming in need to have the mindset (of limited opportunities) because team definitely has that mindset. Guys who grab the opportunity quickly, they grab the opportunity. It is a delicate balance to strike but it is important because you only have 30 games (to figure it out)," the skipper further added.
The Indian selectors have picked a largely young squad for the T20I series against South Africa in order to strike a balance and identify players for specific roles ahead of the T20 World Cup next year. This is what the captain too stressed upon and said that the onus now lies with the younger players coming through the ranks.
"Before we reach the World Cup, focus is on T20s and Tests. Youngsters are being pushed in from time to time. It is very important to settle the team combination and you will have to figure out the players who will take the team forward," added Kohli.
India have their eyes set on the T20 World Cup next year and the side play as many as 27 matches in this format to arrive at different conclusions. However, with the first match against South Africa being washed out, it remains to be seen what combinations are tried out for the remaining matches.