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India confident against 'scarred' England going into series

·3-min read

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) — India captain Virat Kohli is waiting to see how much “scarring” lingers among England’s batsmen following their recent travails against his side.

Kohli celebrated a 3-1 series win in India in March when Joe Root's side failed to get to grips with turning surfaces and the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.

England was bowled out for less than 200 six times in eight innings, with a low of 81 all out in the day-night test in Ahmedabad.

Conditions in the forthcoming five-match series, which begins at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, are set to be vastly different, with seamers coming back to the fore, but the possibility of a psychological advantage remains.

Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope are all expected to take up positions in the top five in Nottingham, but each of the quartet averaged under 20 in India.

"Well, that all depends on the batsman who are walking out, how much scarring they carry with them,” Kohli said. "That's basically how I see it. I can vouch for the fact that we definitely have the ability to bowl them out on a consistent basis.

“That's the kind of quality that we possess,” he continued, "and as long as we execute our skills and our plans, then we are very confident of doing that very often in the series. If the scars are being carried or not, I’m not in a position to answer that. It honestly depends on the individual walking into that.”

India has lost on each of its last three trips to England, defeated 11 times and winning just twice along the way, but is quietly confident about its prospects this time.

Not only is it buoyed by memorable success away in Australia just months ago, India has also been in England for a long period, having initially arrived in June to contest the world test championship final against New Zealand.

India has recently played internal matches as well as a warmup against a County Select XI and Kohli is pleased with how preparations have gone.

“We're definitely much better prepared than we have been in the past,” he said.

”The situation allowed us to acclimatize ... we have been playing under different changes in conditions in terms of weather, whether it's overcast or it's sunny, how the pitches behave, how the ball travels, how much it swings in the air, all those kinds of things are definitely going to add to our experience."

Ultimately, though, performance is what matters, Kohli said.

“You can have all the experience in the world. It all boils down to execution in crunch moments. And that purely comes from belief and how badly you want to be in situations which are not easy," he said.

"As long as we listen to embrace that, we will find answers to all the questions thrown at us.”


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