Kohli on Indian openers’ poor form: The Indian captain was vocal about India’s opening pair and advocated at backing them.
Among the major reasons behind India’s 146-run loss in the Perth Test is the lean patch of their opening batsmen. Having registered opening partnerships of 3, 63, 6 and 0, Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay have exposed the middle order too soon in three out of four innings in the series.
While Vijay has scored 49 runs at an average of 12.25 in Two tests, Rahul has scored 48 runs at 12. The near fact that both of them have been walking wickets against the Australian bowlers is disheartening for the Indian team.
On being asked about the new opening combination for the third Test at Melbourne, India captain Virat Kohli seemed to have avoided that question in a similar manner in which he leaves a good delivery from an opposition bowler.
“Hmm. We didn’t announce that we’re going to have a new opening combination,” Kohli was quoted as saying during the press conference. He then looked at the Indian media manager who signaled for a change in question and that was that.
On being asked another question about the opening pair and what would he, as a captain, suggest to Rahul and Vijay, Kohli laid emphasis on continuously backing them. “Well, you just have to keep backing them and tell them that they belong and they’re good enough to perform. It’s not even giving someone individual goals.
“This is what we require as a team [from the openers]. This is a role which needs to be fulfilled. I think as a batting group we have spoken a lot about those things, executing it or not is a thing of variables of sport. There’s not much to be said,” he said.
Another major aspect in which Indian erred was reading the pitch. Citing the extra bit of grass on the pitch, the team management opted for four specialist fast bowlers, leaving behind a specialist spinner. Kohli said that it was a decision which the team management took and backed it despite the results speaking of the otherwise.
“You can think like that [compromising the batting by picking four pacers]. You obviously have two situations that you can think of. Ashwin and Jadeja have more ability with the bat. It’s a very tricky decision to make regarding selecting a particular bowling option or thinking about someone who can bat well or not.
Eventually, you come to one decision and back it. We were totally convinced as a team that that is out best combination to go with and then the batsmen have to take responsibility. There are a lot of variable that can happen during a cricket match,” Kohli added.
Watch the full video below of Kohli avoiding a question on the new opening combination (02:26 to 02:50):
Read some of the latest Twitter reactions on Kohli below:
Virat Kohli may love a chase in limited overs, but his Test team doesn’t pic.twitter.com/BFOgA7id16
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 18, 2018
Sir Viv Richards defends Virat Kohli’s aggressive attitude on the field
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) December 18, 2018
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) December 18, 2018
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 17, 2018