India go into the World Cup with the favourites tag and they have the side to get the job done, but then the much-vaunted batting line-up was sliced through in the first warm-up match on a greenish track against the highly-skilled New Zealand swing and seam bowlers. This was a wakeup call for Virat Kohli and company and they need to be sharper, especially if they encounter similar conditions in the main tournament.
Skipper Virat Kohli is an absolute key in the batting order and teams will look at ways to get rid of him before he settles down. Trent Boult, the bowler who was on fire in the aforementioned match, believes that they need to get Kohli out soon as the Indian captain takes guard and that teams need to be more aggressive against him.
'Have to remain aggressive against Virat'
"Yeah, you got to remain aggressive against Virat and look to get him out because the mistakes he makes are very few. It is important to start well and put pressure on him early and make sure he is under pressure and doesn't get off to an easy start," Boult was as quoted by IANS.
There is Kohli, but other sides do have aces up their sleeves, batsmen like David Warner, Steve Smith, Joe Root, etc, who, on their day, can take the game away from the opposition. As such, Boult believes that he is all set to challenge all these quality batsmen and take advantage if the conditions are conducive.
"They are all quality players and it will be unfair for me to say who is the best, but in the ODI format, I feel things are placed nicely in favour of the batsmen and they have two hard new balls with the powerplays and it is set up for a lot of runs. From a bowling point of view, you have to remain aggressive and get these players out because otherwise with their quality, they will look to cash in and score runs," the left-armer added.
In the warm-up matches, the pitches had a tinge of grass and this had the bowlers smiling. Also, the games had an early start which made conditions favourable for swing and seam. Boult hopes that the conditions suit the bowlers even in the main tournament.