Virat Kohli's five-bowler strategy a welcome surprise for Amit Mishra ahead of Lanka tour

When Amit Mishra was included in the 15-member squad for Sri Lanka, many were of view that the leg-spinner might not get a chance to play in the three-match Test series and will warm the bench.

Last Updated: Aug 04, 2015, 19:51 PM IST
Virat Kohli's five-bowler strategy a welcome surprise for Amit Mishra ahead of Lanka tour

New Delhi: When Amit Mishra was included in the 15-member squad for Sri Lanka, many were of view that the leg-spinner might not get a chance to play in the three-match Test series and will warm the bench.

Inclusion of India regular Ravichandran Ashwin and an experienced campaigner in Harbhajan Singh are major reasons behind the thought.

In fact, few former cricketers and experts were of the view that Mishra was lucky to be included in the squad as Karn Sharma has been nursing an injury.

But chances of Mishra playing in the series were still looking bleak until skipper Virat Kohli's press conference on Sunday.

Before leaving for the Island, Kohli gave a ray of hope to Mishra by hinting that all three spinners might be included in playing XI.

"You need to play a stronger bowling side in order to win Test matches and it's more exciting and satisfying as well. Yes, that's a possibility (three spinners). The idea is to take 20 wickets. I strongly believe that you need to your best bowlers to play in order to give your team a chance to do that,” said Kohli, who has always favoured including five bowlers.

The statement, coming from the skipper himself, must have given a boost to the spirits of the ageing tweaker, who has a lot of experience and variations up his sleeves. And on spin friendly wickets of Sri Lanka, the 32-year-old can emerge out as a deadly bowler.

Playing with five bowlers and six batsmen is always a big gamble, especially for a team like India, which has an erratic batting line-up.

However, before the tour, Kohli showed trust on his lower batting-order and wanted them to show their batting prowess. “Ashwin, Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and Bhajji are all handy with the bat. Ashwin has a Test average of 40 and I cannot see that why he can't be that all-rounder for us. That's the challenge. Giving people goals and asking them to improve in certain aspects where the team requires,” stated the skipper.

The Test series against Sri Lanka is scheduled to start from August 12, which will be Kohli's first full-fledged tour as a skipper.