Kohli wants more water breaks in extreme heat

Virat Kohli soaks in the applause after bringing up his 24th Test ton even as Rishabh Pant watches Associated Press

Virat Kohli, the India captain, hopes match officials will take into account external factors such as heat while taking calls on unscheduled drinks intervals in Tests. As per the new ICC regulations from September 30, water breaks are permitted only at the fall of a wicket or in-between overs, with unscheduled breaks at the umpires' discretion.

With temperatures touching nearly 40 degrees Celsius on each of the three days of the Rajkot Test between India and West Indies, players from both sides were constantly under the supervision of umpires while asking for drinks breaks. This extra scrutiny facilitated improved over-rates - India even managed 17 per hour across days two and three.

"That was a bit to do with the umpires pushing us as well, with these new rules coming in of not drinking too much water," Kohli said after the game, when asked of improved over-rates. "These things should be considered according to the conditions we play in."

While batting, Cheteshwar Pujara worked around the water-break restrictions by sipping from small bottles in his pocket. "The guys really struggled in this game because of those few changes," Kohli said. "It was quite difficult for the guys not to drink water for close to 40-45 minutes while batting and on the field as well. I'm sure they'll look into this."

The heat also played a part in India sacrificing an extra batsman to play a fifth bowler. "We wanted to have the extra guy because of the heat factor," Kohli said. "Four bowlers would have struggled in these conditions and we just wanted to give them bit more breaks in between and still have quality bowling coming at the opposition."

Looking back at the Test, Kohli was particularly happy with Ravindra Jadeja's contribution lower down the order. "We wanted him to cross the three-figure mark because we believe in his batting ability," he said. "We believe he can change many games for us and have match-winning contributions with bat and ball. On the field, he's electrifying anyway."

Kohli also had praise for the debutant Prithvi Shaw, whose 134 earned him the Player-of-the-Match award. "Easy conditions or not, you still have to back yourself to dominate at the Test level and the guy showed that he's different quality and that's why he's been pushed upon into the Indian team and he just grabbed his opportunity with both hands.

"Ranji Trophy debut hundred, Duleep Trophy debut hundred and Test match, first man to do it, really happy for him. Excited because he takes the challenge head on, which is very good to see from a captain's point of view."