Bullish Kohli eyes England triumph

India captain believes team is in good shape after completing Ireland rout in two-match T20I series

Bullish Kohli eyes England triumph PHOTO: AFP

Virat Kohli is happy that India are well prepared to take on in-form England when their much-awaited series starts on Tuesday with the first of three Twenty20 internationals.

India completed the formality of a 2-0 win in Ireland on Friday with their biggest ever T20 victory, by 143 runs.

Although they were two one-sided games, after scoring over 200 in both, the India captain says they were ideal preparation.

"We wanted to go into the (England) series with all the guys having a hit and all the bowlers making a contribution so, I'm happy with the batting performances in both innings," said Kohli. "Everyone is batting so well, but it's a good problem to have. Anyone who has been given a chance has grabbed it with both hands and that's something that's good for any side and our bench strength is shown in these type of games. It's a great phase that India cricket is going through and I'm happy to see all these young guys taking their chances."

Siddarth Kaul, who took 21 wickets in the IPL this year, was given his debut on Friday and took a wicket in his second over although once again it was the spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and player of the series Yuzvendra Chahal who ripped through the Ireland line-up, sharing six wickets as Ireland were bowled out in just 12.3 overs for 70.

KL Rahul, who sat out the first match, scored 70 off 36 balls and with Suresh Raina hitting 69 off 45 as India totalled 213-4.

Looking ahead to facing England, Kohli was bullish in that anything England do, India will do better.

"The opposition doesn't matter," he said. "We focus on our strengths so if they come hard we have the batting power to go hard as well, plus we have two wrist spinners in our attack which will be an added advantage we feel. If we play at the best possible intensity, it's going to be an exciting and competitive series and one we're looking forward to. England are a quality side but we have belief in our quality and back the positives when we go on the field.”

He added: "The players have accepted their responsibilities and for me as a captain that's really pleasing to see. We can call on anyone at any stage to give their best effort, in fact everyone wants to have a go at the opposition, they want game time, so the credit has to go their players and it takes the load of myself and the management."

Ireland captain Gary Wilson, who top scored with 15, admitted his batsmen rolled over too easily, but they will learn from the games which, to the delight of Cricket Ireland, were played in front of two capacity crowds of almost 10,000.