Virat Kohli calls on India to get the job done in second Test against England at Lord’s

Captain Kohli has called on his India team to get the vital win at Lord's. (AFP)
Updated 08 August 2018
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Virat Kohli calls on India to get the job done in second Test against England at Lord’s

  • England lead the tourists 1-0 in the five-match series after a thrilling 31-run win last week.
  • Kohli scored 200 runs in the first Test and has called on his players to go up a gear in a big for a crucial win at the home of cricket.

India captain Virat Kohli has no qualms over who stars for his side so long as they win.
The tourists head into the second Test at Lord’s starting on Thursday 1-0 down in a five-match series after England won the first Test at Edgbaston by 31 runs last week.
That was despite star batsman Kohli making exactly 200 runs in the game, including a superb first-innings 149 — his maiden Test century in England.
If only another member of India’s much-vaunted top-order had made a sizeable contribution, the result may well have been different.
“It hurts when you are not scoring runs (and) as well, the team is not doing well,” Kohli said ahead of the crunch clash at the hone of cricket.
“It is not like I feel bad that I got runs and we couldn’t get across the line,” added Kohli, now the world’s top-ranked batsman in both Test and one-day international cricket.
“It is purely because we haven’t won the games. If I hadn’t got the runs and we had won, I would have got a totally different feeling — that’s a very natural aspect of playing team sport.
“It is unfortunate we haven’t been able to cross the (winning) line after coming so close, that is the only thing we are looking to, how we cross the line.
“It doesn’t matter whether I get (over) the line or Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) does or (Murali) Vijay does or KL (Rahul) does or whoever does.
“As long as we cross the line, that is the only thing that matters,” Kohli insisted.
India were dismissed for under 300 in their first innings at Edgbaston and then failed to chase down a target of 194 second time around, being bowled out for 162 after Kohli made 51.
“There must be a clear plan on how to face the first 20-30 balls, and more often than not that plan does not involve aggression,” said Kohli, who was extremely watchful against swing king James Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, at Edgbaston.
“Then we need some composure,” he added. “As a batting unit, we have discussed that.
“From outside it looks very bad, especially as it is Test cricket and we are playing in England where it is anyway difficult.
“But we only need to bring down the margin of error and beyond that we don’t need to worry too much.”

NEW BOY POPE TO START AT No.4 FOR ENGLAND

Meanwhile England have revealed that new boy Ollie Pope will bat at No.4 on his debut.
The 20-year-old Surrey rising star is a direct replacement for Middlesex left-hander Dawid Malan, dropped after two low scores in England’s 31-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston last week.
Uncapped Essex paceman Jamie Porter has been omitted from a 13-man squad, with England yet to decide whether Chris Woakes or spinner Moeen Ali will replace all-rounder Ben Stokes, who misses out due to his ongoing court case.
“Ollie will come in and bat at four. He’s obviously batted at six for Surrey this season — but having seen him play a little bit, and the way his game is set up, I think it’s very much transferable to bat at four.
“I know that might be seen as quite a big jump. But he’s obviously an exciting talent and, with the guys around him, I think he fits nicely into that position in our team.”
Pope only made his first-class debut in March last year and has been called into the squad on the back of a mere 15 matches, while he has never batted in the top five in County Championship cricket.
Yet this season has seen Pope make 684 runs for Championship leaders Surrey at an average of 85.5, including three centuries.
“He’s very mature for a young man,” said Root.
“I’m looking forward to him, more than anything, just going out there and being himself — and playing exactly as he has done throughout this summer.”
Kohli welcomed Pope to the world stage by saying: “It is going to be a big occasion for him. I am happy for him, as a cricketer, I understand how important it is.
“I I will tell him to enjoy the occasion, and not get too many runs,” Kohli jokingly added.


Naomi Osaka shocked as Kristina Mladenovic downs world No. 1 in Dubai

Updated 19 February 2019
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Naomi Osaka shocked as Kristina Mladenovic downs world No. 1 in Dubai

  • It was Osaka's first match since she won the Australian Open — her second consecutive Grand Slam title.
  • World No. 67 Mladenovic lost for words after surprise win.

DUBAI: Naomi Osaka stumbled badly in her first match since winning the Australian Open as the world number one went down in a flurry of errors to exit the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.
Dubai-based Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory to reach the third round as Osaka made 25 unforced errors.
The rout, which featured seven breaks of the Osaka serve, took barely an hour, sending Mladenovic into a Wednesday contest with Carla Suarez Navarro.
“This is my home tournament, I live here,” world No. 67 Mladenovic said. “It’s great to get a win like this in front of a big crowd.
“Beating the number one is always special.”
The second set was riddled with seven consecutive breaks of serve before Mladenovic finished off the job with a winner to the empty court on match point.
Osaka stunned the tennis world last week by announcing her split from coach Sascha Bajin despite winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the US and Australian Opens.
She said earlier this week that she would not prioritize “success over happiness” when asked about the sacking, and she never looked like winning in Dubai as she also served five double faults.
Earlier on Tuesday, Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova both won their opening matches, while Elina Svitolina made a strong start to her bid for a third straight title.
Kvitova, the 2013 winner, recovered from losing a first-set tiebreak to defeat Katerina Siniakova 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-4 and squeeze into the third round.
Halep, Dubai champion in 2015, saw off 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
The Romanian said she is still feeling the effects of her weekend final defeat in Doha by Elize Mertens.
“It was a good match because I won it. I tried to finish the points faster because I’m a little bit tired,” Halep said.
“She played well, the level was pretty good. At some points I really ran very well. I’m confident. I feel good on court even if I’m tired.”
A third former world number one also advanced as Angelique Kerber beat Dalila Jakupovic 7-6 (7/4), 6-3.
Kvitova, Wimbledon champion in 2011 and 2014, said she was unfazed about the early midday start to her match.
“I don’t really care if I play the first match,” the Australian Open runner-up said. “Now I’m done, so I have a free afternoon.
“I’m not sure what I’m pleased with... maybe with my comeback at the end.”