September 23, 2019 / 7:21 AM / 23 days ago

Kohli wants India to step out of comfort zone ahead of World T20

(Reuters) - India captain Virat Kohli’s decision to bat first against South Africa in the third and final Twenty20 International backfired but the 30-year-old says the hosts want to prepare for next year’s Twenty20 World Cup by minimising the impact of the toss.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Final - India v New Zealand - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 10, 2019 India's Virat Kohli reacts after losing his wicket Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

It was the first time in seven T20Is at the Chinnaswamy Stadium that the captain winning the toss chose to bat, only for a revamped South Africa to claim a series-levelling nine-wicket win on Sunday.

“Nothing is a given or a guarantee before you start playing,” Kohli told reporters.

“I think if we as a team are willing to get out of our comfort zones a lot more, then we will be unfazed with what happens at the toss.

“Unless you do that and start taking those risks, you are always going to be put under pressure somewhere or the other. We want to make sure we iron all of those things out before we head into the World Cup.”

India failed to capitalise on an aggressive start and ended with a below-par 134 for 9.

Ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia in Oct. 2020, Kohli’s top priority is to recalibrate India’s batting combinations in the shortest format.

“You have to understand as well that it’s a very young side, you have to give them time as a team to come together,” he added.

“We batted till nine tonight, and that’s one area we’re looking to strengthen.”

India’s focus now shifts to the three-match test series against South Africa, with the opening match in Visakhapatnam starting Oct. 2.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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