Kohli has confidence in all-round bowlers

India

India Test captain Virat Kohli says he's happy to keep picking five specialist bowlers for the series in Sri Lanka, and has full confidence that his bowlers will be able to do the job with the bat as well.

Kohli is a fan of having five front-line bowlers, rather than three or four and some part-timers, and feels that the top batting order will need to take responsibility for the bulk of the runs, while the bowlers must take 20 wickets.

Kohli, ahead of departing for Sri Lanka, said of playing five front-line bowlers: "That could be a big possibility. The idea is to take 20 wickets.

"That's that only way you win a Test match and I strongly believe we need to have the best bowlers playing in the squad."

He added that he had full confidence in his bowlers to do the job with the bat as well, with the likes of Ravi Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar showing more than once that they are capable of holding up an end, and even scoring half centuries, or more.

He continued: "We have people like Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harbhajan Singh, who are very handy with the bat. Ashwin averages about 40 in Test-match cricket. So, I don't see any reason why he can't be the allrounder for us.

"It is all about giving people goals and asking them to improve on certain aspects and provide that extra balance the team requires. I strongly feel that you have to play a stronger bowling side to win Test matches.

"And your batsmen have to take more responsibility, which is challenging but at the same time it is exciting."

Speaking of the batting, Kohli went on to say that the opening slots would be contested by Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul. While Vijay is almost certain to bag one spot, the other two have been battling back and forth this year.

Kohli said: "We saw KL Rahul coming through Australia, batting really well. That was a time where Shikhar was not performing consistently. So, KL stepped in beautifully and now Shikhar has got runs again.

"Vijay has got runs for us consistently. So, its just a matter of shift in the balance. I think he has been a guy who has been very solid for us at the top of the order.

"He has really improved his game in the last one, one-and-a-half years. He has given us solid starts everywhere we have played Test matches over the past 12 months."

The first Test starts on 12 August in Galle.

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