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The onus is on the players to keep themselves fit ahead of the World Cup, says Virat Kohli

All the Indian players will be busy playing in the IPL ahead of the World Cup.

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Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Now that the Indian team’s international assignments have finished the focus shifts to the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season which begins on March 23, Saturday, with the Chennai Super Kings, the defending champions taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Team India players, who are almost certain to go to England and Wales for the World Cup will also participate in the IPL and the question of their workload management was raised by many cricket experts and some even suggested that the fast bowlers who are bound for the World Cup should skip the IPL to keep themselves fit.

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Players need to be smart

The Indian captain Virat Kohli put up a brave face after India lost the fifth and final ODI to Australia in Delhi and with it, lost the series 2-3 to the Australians. But now as the focus shifts to the IPL, Kohli will be seen playing in the opening match of the season against MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings.

Kohli also mentioned that the World Cup comes once in four years, while IPL is played every year and it is upto the players themselves to be smart and stay fit. “All the workload will be monitored and given a window, the guys can afford to rest. The World Cup comes every four years and we play IPL every year.

“Not to say we won’t be committed to the IPL but we’ve got to be smart. We have to work in balance and make smart decisions. The responsibility and the onus being on the player. No one will be forced to do something. Eventually, no one wants to miss the World Cup and cost the team good balance,” he said in the post-match press conference.

The playing XI is there in the minds of team management

Virat Kohli also mentioned that neither the team management nor the players in the dressing room are panicking after the Australia series loss since they knew what they were trying to achieve in the last three games. He said that Australia was better in handling pressure situation and grabbed the crucial situations better than India and deserved to win.

On being asked about the team combination for the World Cup, Kohli said that the combination was pretty much set, with possibly only one change in the playing XI. “Hardik Pandya will come back to the team. With him, there’s batting depth, and bowling option opens up. We know where we have to go as a combination. The XI is clear in our head. We just have to take better decisions in pressure situations to go far in the World Cup,” Kohli signed off.

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