“We have 25-26 games in hand before arriving there and we want to look at all the games to have a solid combination – conditions based, obviously, because the conditions in Australia eventually will be different and so will be your combination. And according to your team, and what each person’s strengths are, is what we’re trying to figure out. It’s a very normal process in cricket at this level that whatever games you have you use it to build towards that global tournament.
“Having said that, there’s no game that you want to take lightly either. You want results as also. As a team, if you are looking at building the confidence, then results should follow those processes and combinations. So, it boils down to the players eventually. Whoever gets the chance, in whatever combination and how much responsibility they take in the situation and how well they deliver for the team. That’s our focus till the World Cup — to figure out our best 15 and our best 11,” he explained.
M.S. Dhoni is one of the big names that is missing from the limited-overs team, but Kohli said that it also meant it was an opportunity for someone like Rishabh Pant to unleash himself on the big stage.
“It’s a great opportunity for someone like Pant to really play a lot of international cricket, show his credentials, really unleash his potential at this stage.
“We know how much ability he has and we all want him to become a consistent performer for the Indian cricket team. MS’s experience is always going to be a very crucial factor but having said that some of these younger guys have a great opportunity ahead of them and they should just look forward to it.”
Kohli went on to add that the team management has a lot of faith in the youngsters in the team. He added that playing in the IPL will have helped the boys adapt to the pressure.
“All these are proven performers and we actually have a lot of belief in their abilities. We know giving the ball to anyone at any stage of the game, they’ll do the job. Everyone is a professional here and they have come because of a lot of T20 experience. If you look at the IPL you will have so many options, but you choose 15 which are the best. That’s what it was down to. And you expect them to do the job on the day.
“I think the good thing is with T20 cricket we’re not really worried about the mindset of the players because having played IPL back home for so many years and being good performers in the T20 format, these guys have a lot of composure,” Kohli said.