Indian captain Virat Kohli is only 31 at the moment but is already thinking about his retirement plans. In the pre match press conference on the eve of First of the two Tests against New Zealand, Kohli discussed his future plans ahead of the media.
World’s best batsman is focusing on the bigger picture and so with 2 WT20s and 1 ODI World Cup in the next 3 years, he is planning a stringent work plan for the next three years after which he might decide to quit one format which would most likely be the T20s and then focus on the other two formats before the team starts going into transition mode.
” My mindset is on the bigger picture as I prepare myself for a rigorous three years from now and after that we might have a different conversation. ” – Kohli, on his future plans of playing cricket
He did discuss about how fatigue and playing continuous cricket takes a toll on his body both physically and mentally and thrown some light on the significance of breaks in his life. Kohli didn’t shy away from admitting that things like workload management should be discussed and given more importance.
” It’s not a conversation you can hide away from in any manner. It is around eight years now that I have been playing 300 days a year, which includes travelling and practice sessions. And Intensity is right up there all the time. It does take a toll on you. “
After this he went on to explain how regular periodic breaks hold a great significance in his busy life and how they help him and some of his teammates in getting refreshed.
“It’s not that the players are not thinking about it all the time. We do choose to take lot more breaks individually even though the schedule might not allow you to. Especially from guys, who play all the formats. It’s not easy being captain, having that intensity in the practice session. It does take a toll on you. Periodic breaks seem to work pretty okay for me. ” – Kohli emphasized on how captaincy puts an extra burden on his body and brain.
Giving some relief to the Indian fans, Kohli said he has no problem at all in playing 2 to 3 more years but he will have a different conversation around 34 or 35 when his body will start giving up. The intensity he plays with coupled with tight scheduling of matches, it is understandable how his body gets affected but he is prepared to give it all for the next few years.
“I can keep going on with the same intensity and also understand that the team wants a lot of my contribution in the next two to three years, so that I can ease into another transition that we faced 5-6 years ago. ” – Kohli said that referring to the period of retirements of big players like Sachin, VVS Laxman and Dravid.
As far as the team combination for the first Test is concerned, Kohli hinted few things but preferred to let some mysteries unsolved. According to him, Ishant Sharma is bowling well in nets, Saha has been taking the first slot of WK in the practice session, Shaw’s strong play is good enough, Vihari is for number 6 slot in overseas & he can be used as a fifth bowling option.
We can expect Saha to be chosen over Pant going by the words of the skipper which would be a controversial decision while Shubman Gill will have to wait a bit more for his Test debut. It is also unclear who between Ashwin and Jadeja will play as the lone spinner.