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Friday, 5 August 2011

Kohli ready for England challenge, says coach

Drafted into the side to infuse stability to the vulnerable lower middle-order for the remaining two Tests against England [ Images ], India [ Images ] batsman Virat Kohli [ Images ] is keen to make optimum use of the opportunity to cement his place in the Test team.

The Delhi [ Images ] boy has been called up to join the injury-hit team, trailing 0-2 in the four-match series, as replacement for Yuvraj Singh [ Images ], who was ruled out of the rest of the Test series against England due to fractured left index finger.

As the visitors gear up to counter a rampaging England in the crucial third Test at Edgbaston, after crashing to humiliating defeats in the first two, the 22-year-old Kohli believes he can justify his selection in the squad.

"Kohli is treating the England tour like a challenge. Before leaving for England to join the team, Kohli told me that he wants to make full use of the opportunity and justify his selection," his coach Rajkumar Sharma said.

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"Kohli is desperate to win back his place in the Indian Test squad. He knows that it would be difficult to counter England's seam attack under hostile conditions, but my boy is ready for the challenge.

"With India's No 1 Test status in danger, and visitors trailing 0-2 in the series, Kohli believes that it will be his real test of character," he added.

Kohli, who left for England on Friday morning, is a regular member of India's One-day squad and a vital cog in the IPL's Royal Challengers [ Images ] Bangalore line-up.

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But his Test debut against a below-par West Indies [ Images ] last month was well short of auspicious. He only scored 76 runs in the three-Test series against the Caribbean opponents and subsequently dropped for the England tour.

It will be a big challenge for Kohli to weather the storm stirred up by England's potent pace attack as he has not played there before.

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