India will play with 'strongest bowling unit' in 1st Test: Virat Kohli

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Antigua, July 21: Captain Virat Kohli has said India will field their "strongest bowling unit" in the first Test against West Indies to set the tone for the rest of the series.

Ind-WI series schedule; Kohli picks Dhawan over Rahul

Today (July 21), India and West Indies face off in the opening Test of the 4-match rubber, at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. (Had no clue about Test cricket: Kohli)

Speaking to reporters on the eve of the Test on Wednesday (July 20), Kohli said he was in favour of 5 bowlers for the match but did not reveal the Playing XI.

"We have some plans about the combination (of Playing XI). But I can't disclose that now. What we have learnt from playing in Australia and Sri Lanka that it is important to attack in the first match (of the series). You have to field the strongest bowling unit to set the tone for the series," Kohli said.

"Batsmen have to take responsibility. I am in favour of 5 bowlers (in the Playing XI). If you don't take 20 wickets and score even 700 runs, it is of no use. It is the responsiblity of the top 5 batsmen, wicketkeeper and all-rounders - spinners, fast bowlers, to post a big score so that bowlers can bowl the oppostion out twice," he added.

The right-hander further stated, "Even if they can't (bowl out) we should have enough lead (first innings) that we need not play for long (in second innings). We have been playing with the same mindset for the past one and half years and with the same mindset we will start the series.

"Our bowling has to be strong. On this wicket, bowling outside offstump may not help and we need who bowl stump line and wicket-taking bowlers will be more effective for us. We want to start the series on a positive note."

When asked about the pitch for the 1st Test, Kohli said it looks like a "decent batting wicket".

"The surface looks dry and soft. It is not hard as some of the other surfaces in the West Indies. The wicket is no different from what we play on, back home. It is basically where we have soft wickets. The soil is loose and binded by the grass. I think it will be a decent batting wicket.

"There won't be much bounce, not as much bounce as some of the other places in the West Indies, somewhere like Barbados or Jamaica where spinners get a lot of bounce. That won't be the case here. That is what I feel after reading the wicket. We have to plan accordingly as to where we need to bowl, looking at how the wicket will behave on days 3 and 4, which will determine the result of the Test match. We have plans in mind," Kohli said.

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