New Delhi, Oct 16: India batsman Virat Kohli said Sunday the team is hoping to make the most of its spin attack against England after taking a 1-0 lead in the ongoing five-game one-day series.
“We will try to exploit our spin strength and hope the spinners help us capitalize in the middle overs,” Kohli said ahead of the second game in New Delhi on Monday.
“The win in the first game at Hyderabad was a big confidence booster for us, especially because it was by a convincing margin.”
India won at Hyderabad by 126 runs, with spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin bagging three wickets each after captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 87 to help reach an imposing total of 300-7.
A depleted India side is hoping to beat England in home conditions after a disastrous recent tour of England when it failed to win a single game.
Kohli, who has played 65 ODIs and was a member of this year's World Cup winning squad, said it was good to see the team win despite the absence of key players like Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh.
“It is very exciting to see a lot of youngsters perform well. Performing well against a top side like England can give them a lot of confidence,” said Kohli, who felt the 3-0 scoreline in the five-game one-day series in England was not an accurate reflection of the series.
“We played well in the one-day series in England too, it was only a question of crossing the line. We've always kept our heads high, we've been in that calm and collected space and that is why we are able to do well,” he said.
Kohli said it would take time to adjust to new rules which include the use of a new ball from each end and a stipulation that batting and bowling powerplays be exhausted between the 16th and 40th overs.
“The rules seem to be a good change but are confusing as of now. It will take time to get used to them but matches can be exciting,” he said.
Kohli, who struck 37 in the Hyderabad game, also felt the dew factor at the Ferozeshah Kotla in New Delhi could give a slight advantage to the team batting second because it may make the ball difficult to grip under lights.
England pace bowler Jade Dernbach said the tourists still have much time to catch up in the series.
“We are disappointed after the result (at Hyderabad) but we have four more games to rectify the situation. We don't think spin is the only factor, we've to get better in every facet,” he said.
Dernbach, who has taken 16 wickets in 11 one-dayers, said it was a matter of coping with varying conditions.
“We have to adapt and find a way of winning because pitch conditions play a big part. We have to be flexible and adapt to the conditions. We don't have particular plans and feel every individual gets different styles into the game,” he said.
About his own bowling, Dernbach said he was hoping to make use of variations in pace on the slow pitches in India.
“I've got two, three variations and they can be of use here,” he added.
The remaining games of the series will be played in Mohali, Mumbai and Kolkata. The tour will wind up with a Twenty20 game in Kolkata on Oct. 29.