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Virat Kohli

'Don't see IPL influencing World Cup selection' – Virat Kohli

The India captain said his side needed clarity over "what they want" during the upcoming ICC Men's Cricket World Cup and said that performances in the Indian Premier League will not influence team selection for the 50-over tournament.

"I don't see IPL influencing the World Cup selection," said Virat Kohli on Friday, on the eve of the first one-day international against Australia. "That would be very radical analysis.

"We need to have a solid team before we head into IPL. We need to be clear as to what we want during the World Cup. If one or two players don't have a good IPL season, it doesn't mean the picture for the World Cup will change."

India will be playing a five-match ODI series against Australia and this will be Kohli and co's last ODI series before the World Cup. Hence, the hosts will be looking to experiment with the available squad, which might also mean giving chances to a player like Rishabh Pant, who has only played three ODIs for India. 

Kohli admitted that his side will have to consider the balance of the side, however, and doesn't believe a batsman should be included ahead of a bowler.

"We will have to think about the combinations," Kohli added. "I don’t think playing a bowler less is a good idea because with the extra fielder in till the 40th over, it becomes very difficult to get a few guys to chip in with a few overs here and there.

"We will have to work out the batting combination to try and give game-time to the guys we want to, but I don’t see the bowling combination changing."

There is still uncertainty over Pant's selection in the World Cup squad, but KL Rahul, who was impressive in the recently concluded Twenty20 International series, is likely to make the line-up.

"It augurs really well,” the skipper added. “KL, when he plays well, is operating at a different level I feel. We have seen him do that in the IPL last year and in patches, over the last season we played as a team.

"He can keep batting like that. It's difficult to find a consistent batsman who can play good cricketing shots and still win you games. It's a rare ability and I think he's got all the shots. He can build on this and get some more innings under his belt. He's made strong case for himself in the World Cup."

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