KANDY: Missing the services of premier spinner Ravindra Jadeja due to a suspension, Indian captain Virat Kohli on Friday urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to be more consistent in implementing rules pertaining to the players’ code of conduct.
“I think players have to be much more aware going ahead and just hoping that the guidelines are very similar from now on. Because it shouldn’t vary according to how the situation is looked at,” Kohli said in the pre-match press conference ahead of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka here.
“So if it is consistent then I think it is going to be a good going ahead because players will obviously be more aware of how they need to conduct themselves on the field. It will only help the game get better,” he added.
World’s No 1 Test bowler and all-rounder Jadeja was handed a one-match suspension for logging six demerit points in the last 24 months. His offences ranged from running on the pitch to throwing the ball dangerously at an opponent.
As a result, he would be missing the third and final against Sri Lanka staring Saturday.
Speaking on the suspension, Kohli said players should understand the ICC’s rules but the governing body should show greater consistency while making such vital decisions.
Kohli said with clarity on the rules, the players would be less prone to violating them.
“Firstly we need to be very clear on what are the things that fall into it and what are the things that a player needs to keep in his mind while being on the field. Lot of things happen on the field, which in the thick of things or heat of the moment you end up doing,” he explained.
“But you don’t know what’s going to cause you one or two or three points. So I think the intent counts nowadays and that’s something that players need to keep in mind. It might be a very small thing but if the intent is to do something bad then obviously that is something that counts against the player,” said Kohli.
The series has been pocketed but Kohli ruled out making wholesale changes to the side in the inconsequential match. India won the first two Tests in Galle and Colombo comfortably and now have a chance to score a rare 3-0 overseas victory.
And perhaps keen on clinching a clean-sweep, Kohli said he would like to maintain continuity.
“To play consistent cricket, you need to make sure that players are playing on a regular basis. Those who are performing and those who are doing well should continue in more games than not and to be a consistent side I think we need to have continuity as well unless the situations where things are not controllable arise,” Kohli said in a pre-match press conference.
“So we certainly don’t want to take anything lightly. We want to play the same kind of cricket that we have and hopefully retain the team that played the last game as much as we can. We are certainly not thinking of too many changes at all, especially in this format, because you don’t want to start taking things for granted and lose that momentum,” he added.
Kohli rejected suggestions that this could demoralise players, who have not yet got a chance to play.
“Managing players who don’t get a chance is also a skill. It is not easy because everyone wants to play and luckily we have such players who are just waiting for opportunities. We don’t have players who are happy to sit out,” Kohli said.
“In a team environment everyone knows that only 11 players can play. So in professional sport they understand this aspect. They are intelligent so you don’t get too many of such questions. They understand the dynamics of the team and they make our job easier because their attitude is so good,” he added.