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Kohli would like to prove he’s best in front of Brits: Shastri

Coming into the upcoming series, all eyes are on Kohli, who has evolved as one of the finest batsmen in the world in the last four years.

Birmingham: Success in the last four years has driven Virat Kohli to a different level “mentally” and the Indian skipper would like to show the British public in the upcoming Test series why he is eulogised as the best player in the world, says head coach Ravi Shastri. With scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0,7, 6 and 20 in five Tests, Kohli averaged a horrendous 13.50 in his 10 innings during the 2014 England Tour. Coming into the upcoming series, all eyes are on Kohli, who has evolved as one of the finest batsmen in the world in the last four years. The first Test begins in Edgbaston, Birmingham from August 1.

“Look at his (Kohli’s) record. I don’t have to spell out what he has done in the last four years. When you perform in that fashion, you are mentally at a different level as well. You are waiting for whatever test comes your way,” Shastri told Espncricinfo. “Yes, he might have had an ordinary series when he came here four years ago. But four years down the line he is the best player in the world. And he would like to get out there and show the British public why he is the best player in the world,” he said.

KL Rahul is the 3rd opener

“He (KL Rahul) has been picked as the third opener. But our batting order will always be flexible. The third opener can play anywhere in the top four. We are a very, very flexible outfit. Be prepared for that. We will surprise you guys at times,” Shastri said.

Pujara RR not a concern

“It (Cheteshwar Pujara’s run rate) is not a concern for me at all. He has a role to play. He knows his role, because No. 3 is an important role,” the India coach said.

Rishabh Pant is a game changer

On Pant, Shastri said, “He (Rishabh Pant) was getting runs for India A. It is also time to groom another keeper. He has the flair. He has something unorthodox about him when it comes to his batting. He can be a game changer, so why not give him the opportunity?”

Can Kohli turn it around?

  • 134 runs India captain Virat Kohli scored in 2014 in 5 Tests under then skipper MSD’s leadership.
  • 39 was his highest score.
  • 53+ now his avg in 66 Tests.
  • 301 runs in 6 games on this tour so far.

Head-to-head (Tests)

England and India have played 117 Test matches. Out of these, India have won 25 while England have won 43, with 49 matches ending in a draw.

Head-to-head in Tests in Eng

  • England and India have met 57 times in England in Tests. Out of these, England have registered a win on 30 occasions while India on 6, with 21 matches ending in a draw.
  • Weather: After almost three months, the rain gods have marched towards England. However, rains are not expected to be a spoilsport in the 1st Test.

NUMBERS GAME

  • 10 wickets James Anderson needs to reach 550 mark in Tests. If he does, he’ll become the 2nd fast bowler to take 550 or more Test wickets.
  • 24 runs Stuart Broad needs to achieve the feat of 3000 Test runs and become the only 5th player to achieve a double of 3000 Test runs and 400 wickets in Test cricket.
  • 40 runs skipper Joe Root is behind the mark of 6000 Test runs. He can become the 15th Englishman to score 6000 or more runs in Tests.
  • 93 runs Murali Vijay needs to reach 4000 runs in Tests and become the 16th Indian to do so.
  • 12 more scalps Ishant Sharma requires to complete 250 Test wickets.
  • 107 runs A Rahane needs to reach 3Krun mark in Tests and become 22nd Indian to do so.
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