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IPL Performance Of Cricketers Will Have No Influence On World Cup Selection Says Virat Kohli

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| March 1 , 2019 , 18:39 IST

India captain Virat Kohli said on Friday IPL performances will have "no influence" on the World Cup team selection, calling the speculation a "very, very radical analysis".

There were talks that IPL could be a possible shoot-out between Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik and Delhi Capitals’ Rishabh Pant for the second wicketkeeper’s slot but Kohli announced that one good IPL won’t make much of a difference for any World Cup hopeful.

"We need to have a solid team. Before we head into the IPL, we need to be absolutely clear of what team we want for the World Cup. I don't see anything changing on how the IPL goes for any of the players.

"If one or two players do not have a good IPL season, it doesn't mean that they are out of the picture for the World Cup. Those things are not going to matter," Kohli set the record straight.

Talking about the remaining slots, Kohli is keen to give Pant some game time but certainly not at the cost of playing a bowler less, taking the field restrictions into account.

"We will have to think about the combinations. I don't think playing a bowler less is a good idea because, with the extra fielder in till the 40th over, it becomes very difficult to sort of get a few guys to chip in with a few overs here and there.

"We will have to work out the batting combination to try and give game-time to the guys we want to. But, I don't see the bowling combination changing," the skipper said.

These five ODIs are the final tune-up for the team before India’s 2019 World Cup clash against South Africa in Southampton on June 5. With the majority of World Cup berths finalised, Kohli needs to fine-tune a couple of slots, like the third opener’s berth for the tournament in England later this year which he intends to do in this ODI series.

India suffered their first series loss under Kohli's leadership when they were outplayed by Australia in the recently-concluded two-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series.

The hosts failed to defend a huge total of 190 in Bengaluru after losing the first T20I in Vizag, raising concerns of too much experimentation happening with the team ahead of the quadrennial event.

ALSO READ: Ind Vs Aus 2nd T20I Preview: Virat Kohli & Co. Face Do-or-die Contest, Aussie Eye Series Win

“T20 series was a short series. It’s done and Australia played better than us. We’ll have to be at our absolute best to win this ODI series,” Kohli said.

“There is always an opportunity for teams to come back strongly and show character. In any big tournament like the World Cup, you have to show the ability to come back. All guys are really excited to do that — get basics right, streamlining their mind to adapt to different situations, do what’s required for the team and do it well,” the skipper said.