Kohli was speaking after Jasprit Bumrah, his pace spearhead, returned an incredible 5/7 in a 318-run victory over West Indies in Antigua on Sunday. West Indies were bundled out for 100, in chase of 419, and Bumrah, who claimed just 1/55 in the first innings on his comeback from a short break, was relentless.
Bumrah was key for India in their run to the semi-final at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, but sat out of the limited-overs leg in the Caribbean thereafter. Kohli suggested more of that should be expected. “That’s probably the most important thing for us right now, managing player workloads,” said Kohli.
“That’s why he (Bumrah) didn’t play any white-ball cricket after the World Cup because we wanted him to be fresh for the Tests. He is going to be a key factor for us as long as the Test championship continues. We know how good a bowler he is. And the impact he can make in a spell,” Kohli said.
That will be the case with the rest of pace attack, including Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. “Shami is the same. Ishant is a banker for years now. And he can make an impact in any spell he bowls. Those three together are bowling really well,” said Kohli.
“I am just making decisions on the field. Execution is in their hand. Always been a team game for us.“Umesh [Yadav] hasn’t had a game, and we have Navdeep Saini, who can bowl 150 clicks, waiting in the wings. We are pretty settled as far as our bowling options are concerned. Managing workloads and the number of overs we bowl is going to be a key factor for us,” he explained.
“It [captaincy] is a responsibility that I am fulfilling. It is a blessing that I am in a position where I can contribute to the team in more than one way. I like taking that responsibility, but nothing is possible without the team,” Kohli added.