Jayant a great addition to Indian team: Kohli

Chennai, Dec 15 (IANS) Jayant Yadav is a great addition to the Indian Test team, according to captain Virat Kohli, who on Thursday went to the extent of comparing the young off-spinner to former England star Graeme Swann who had tasted considerable success in India.

“Jayant knows his game very well. He knows his bowling very well and has a lot of control,” Kohli told reporters on the eve of India’s fifth Test against England here.

“He rushes the batsmen. He doesn’t give batsmen time after the ball has pitched. I think Graeme Swann was very similar in the way he bowled. His control was magnificent without giving the ball too much air. That’s why he was so successful here.

“As a captain, I know that as a third bowler, the batsman cannot independently go after him as he can take two-three wickets. He has been a great addition to Team India,” he added.

India have already won the five-match rubber 3-0.

Yadav has picked up nine wickets in the three matches that he has played, also contributing heavily with the bat scoring 221 runs at an average of 73.66 which also includes a century.

Kohli said the Indians intend to maintain the same intensity although the result of the Chennai Test will have bearing on the series.

“The intensity and motivation to win a Test match remains the same. We are looking at one game at a time,” he asserted.

Lauding star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for his batting, Kohli said, “Ashwin has set a benchmark for the other spinners to contribute as well. Jadeja has come of age with his batting. We saw that in Mohali where he came out and got those 90 runs for us.

“Even the bowlers understand the importance of their contribution with the bat. So as a captain it gives you a lot of freedom to play five batsmen where your bowlers contribute 120-130 runs every game for you.”

Asked about him not taking the aerial route at all nowadays in Tests and whether it is a concerted effort, Kohli, who has hit just one six in the series so far, said: “I don’t necessarily feel the need to hit sixes.

“Its just an excitement on the part of a batsman at 150-160 when you feel like expressing yourself but then I realise if I score three-four runs in an over without even hitting a boundary, you don’t need to take the big risk.

“If I and my management have decided to play five batsmen, then I have to take up more responsibility.”

Kohli has scored in most cricket-playing nations except for England, where he endured a tough tour two years ago. Overall, he has played five Tests in England averaging just 13.40 with his highest score being 39.

Quizzed on whether he would like to play county cricket before India’s tour to England, he said: “If I have a chance, I would love to do that. I would love to be there a month, a month-and-half before the tour, get used to playing in those conditions, understand how the wickets behave in that particular time of the year.”

–IANS

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