Don't be surprised if you see Gurkeerat Singh playing soon: Virat Kohli
Virat says Gurkeerat has earned a call-up in the Indian side.
Bengaluru: Praising Punjab's Gurkeerat Singh for his recent run of form in domestic cricket, Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli said the batting all-rounder "brings balance" to the side and certainly fits into the future scheme of things in the senior team.
Gurkeerat, who bats right-handed and is an off-spinner, was drafted as the 16th member of the side last evening after being kept as a reserve fielder during the Test match in Mohali.
"He (Gurkeerat) has earned his call-up. He certainly fits in scheme of things and don't be surprised if you see him playing soon. I wish him all the luck. I can't put a particular time when but he has ability with the bat at that No.6 or No.7 position. He is a very dangerous, instinctive player, who can take the game away from opposition," the skipper was generous in his praise for Gurkeerat, who has been a premier performer for India A during this season.
"He (Gurkeerat) is also bowling well but he is primarily a batsman. He is working very hard on his bowling. He has earned this call up. Because, these type of cricketers bring balance that is very important to the team's cause as we will be playing a lot of Test matches in the sub-continent in next year and half.
"It will be very important for us to have guys like Gurkeerat, who can provide the balance for us as Stuart (Binny) did it in Sri Lanka. Their contribution with the bat and then coming to bowl getting a couple of wickets is very important to us," the skipper explained the logic behind Gurkeerat's late inclusion in the side.
The skipper also expressed his delight at having Ishant Sharma back in the playing XI but at the same time praised Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron for bowling 20-odd tight overs during the Mohali Test.
"I'm very delighted that Ishant is back. The way he is bowling and the way he bowled in Sri Lanka brings a lot to the table. With Ishant coming in, he brings in a lot of experience. He's bowled well in sub-continental conditions, knows how to reverse the (old) ball, can lead the pace attack.
"As I mentioned before, the combination can or will change according to the conditions. So I would rather have a guy who will give me control in an important time in the game rather than someone who will just get the overs out of way. There is a change in mindset there as well.
Kohli then went onto praise Umesh and Aaron for their effort in Mohali, "It is not just about the spinners. We have quality seamers as well. We saw that in Mohali as well. For those two (Umesh and Aaron) to rush the batsmen on that sort of a wicket, takes a lot of heart, takes a lot of effort. So I was really happy to see that personally. If you see Mohali, the fast bowlers in total, both the innings put together bowled about 20 overs. But they were pretty important in the course of the game.
"If those 20 overs go for 100 runs then you are not in a position to win a Test match. So they played their role perfectly. It is important for the three guys bowling the most of the overs to have two guys after them who can also maintain the same momentum and control the run-rate as well, which is very important in Test matches."
There has been consistent rainfall in the city over the last three days including heavy overnight showers which led the groundsmen needing extra time to get the field ready for training. The Indian captain admitted that combination will also depend a lot on conditions.
"It does play a part as specially knowing that you might not have full game time. You need to make changes and the team management and myself have spoken about it. We will make the necessary changes according to what weather looks like and keep all factors in mind before picking a squad for Test."
However, he ruled that knowing Chinnaswamy conditions better than opposition will have any bearing on the outcome of the match.
"Knowing the conditions obviously helps but you have to go out there and play good cricket. It does help a little bit but you have to go out there and execute our plans. A few of their players also know the conditions well so I don't think it would make much of a difference."