Virat Kohli on India’s series win in Australia: The Indian captain expressed joy at winning the ODI series for the first time in Australia.
During the third match of the ongoing India’s tour of Australia at Melbourne, India defeated Australia by 7 wickets to register their first-ever bilateral series win in Australia. Having earlier won the Test series, India also winning the ODI series speaks highly about their performance on the tour.
Speaking during the post-match presentation, India captain Virat Kohli reflected on the team’s performance on the tour starting from the T20I series in November. “It’s been an amazing tour for us. We drew the T20 series, won the Test and the ODI series. If someone gave me these results before the tour I would have taken it with both hands.
“I am really grateful and proud of the side. It was a collective effort. We are feeling confident and balanced as a side with the World Cup in mind. Few games against New Zealand and few more back home to strengthen the areas that we need to work on as a team,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
Congratulations to #TeamIndia for winning a bilateral ODI series for the first time in Australia. Brilliant team performance and so happy to see the legend @msdhoni bhai receive the Man-of-the-Series award. @BCCI pic.twitter.com/udGqHwUWnR
— Parvinder Awana (@ParvinderAwana) January 18, 2019
If rain hadn’t saved Aus from near certain defeat in Melbourne T20 game, India would have won T20 series 2-1 too. Clean triple sweep. Worth pointing out. https://t.co/AjsPDz24FT
— Minhaz Merchant (@MinhazMerchant) January 18, 2019
Kohli also spoke about why the Indian batsman took the match to the last over. “It wasn’t a great wicket to bat on, so we had to take it deep, but they were professional in getting the job done. We were a bit nervous but two set batsmen in knew exactly what they wanted to do,” Kohli said.
India played leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in place of chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav in the third ODI. Having not played an ODI since October last year, Chahal registered his career-best figures of 10-0-42-6 in his comeback match.
Being asked about the same, Kohli said that the India wanting to play a ‘good combination’. He was also wax lyrical about the 28-year old leg-spinner. “We wanted to get in a good combination. We wanted to give Kuldeep a rest and we don’t want to be too predictable as well.
“Chahal came in and bowled beautifully. 6/42 was magnificent. Kedar with bat and ball is always handy. We have been here for a long time,” Kohli added.
Despite all the achievement on this tour, India have still not zeroed in on their No. 4 batsman in ODIs. Kohli put in down to various team combinations demanding different batsman to bat at No. 4 and discloses why Mahendra Singh Dhoni was sent in at No. 4 today.
“If you look at the last game, [Ambati] Rayudu batted at No. 4, MS [Dhoni] batted at No. 5 and DK [Dinesh Karthik] was No. 6. Because we brought in Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav, we didn’t want Dinesh to change his spot as he’s doing a good job at No. 6.
“It was a call between No. 4 and No. 5. Since MS had two games and runs under his belt, we decided to send MS at No. 4. The middle-order that we played at Adelaide was the most balanced.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) January 18, 2019
— ICC (@ICC) January 18, 2019
“Because of the combination that we have to play, you have to change No. 4. As long as you are doing well as a batting unit, it keeps you going as a team. Anyone who bats at No. 4 will have to take responsibility for the team in the World Cup” Kohli further added.
The Indian captain was also asked about if the team management has confirmed a batting position for Dhoni ahead of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Kohli refused about finalizing on a specific batting number for him but was vocal about his personal choice as a captain.
“He batted at No. 4 in 2016. After that, he’s been pretty happy playing at 5 or 6 for the team. I personally feel No. 5 is the best suited spot for him because that allows him to get some game time and finish games for us.
“When Hardik [Pandya] is not in the team, you have to strike balance somehow. We, as team management, believe that MS at No. 5 is the most logical place for him,” Kohli concluded.