Former India batsman VVS Laxman said Virat Kohli will not take undue pressure on himself in the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand and approach the game like any other.
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“He should approach the game, which I am confident he will, like any other game because Virat is someone who prepares really well for any challenge he is going to confront but doesn’t unnecessarily take pressure on himself," Laxman told Sports Today.
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“Yes it’s the inaugural WTC final, but he knows that not only as a batsman but as a captain, he has got a great opportunity to hold that ICC trophy.
“He has taken a lot of pride playing for the country. When you’re playing at the highest level and someone like Virat, he will just go out and play to his strengths. I am sure he will call back the formula with which he has had so much success, and he will just repeat that.
“He knows if Virat Kohli, the batsman, scores runs, India will always be in a formidable position. That’s what he will be aiming to do. He will be looking at spending time on the wicket and once he does that, runs will flow."
Talking in Star Sports show cricket connected, Laxman expected R Ashwin to start given his success in Australia.
“Ashwin would be my first-choice spinner. The way he bowled in Australia, dominated the opposition’s best batsman in Steve Smith and consistently got him out, it was one of the main reasons why India went on to win that Test series," he said.
“You can’t forget Ravindra Jadeja either. He is not just a spinner who will bowl only in helpful conditions. Over the past couple of years he has improved immensely in beating the batsmen with his guile, his flight and variation and pace. I feel he is a complete package for me."
Laxman also lauded Ravi Shastri, saying the India coach is a natural motivator.
“He is a natural motivator. I have experienced that in my playing career. Whenever you have a chat with him, just a 5 or 10-minute chat with Ravi, you feel really good about yourself because that’s the kind of character he is," Laxman told Sports Today.
“Ravi will also be proud of the way the players have played over the last 2-3 years. It’s not only about quality for the WTC final but the way these players have responded to adversity and embraced challenges.
“I think what Ravi will be telling to the players is not to put undue pressure on themselves. ‘Just go out and enjoy yourself. It’s a great atmosphere and a great occasion to be part of. Don’t think about the result’. That’s what the message from Ravi will be."
The WTC final starts on June 18 in Southampton.
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