Virat Kohli confirms changes for the last two ODIs: The Indian captain opened up on India’s combination for the last two ODIs.
During the third ODI of the ongoing Australia’s tour of India at Ranchi, Australia defeated India by 32 runs to register their first win of the series. With the visitors coming back into the series, the five-match series (Australia 1 – 2 India) is all set for a riveting contest.
Chasing a 314-run target, the Indian batsmen never really got going. Being reduced to 27-3 in the seventh over, it was always going to be a daunting task for the hosts. The Australian bowlers putting a collective performance to restrict India further didn’t help their case.
Putting his best foot forward, India captain Virat Kohli registered his 41st ODI century. However, no support from the other end had made the task really difficult for him despite an exquisite innings. Before getting out, Kohli ended up scoring 123 (95) with the help of 16 fours and a six.
With bowling figures of 9-0-37-3, Australia fast bowler Jhye Richardson was the pick of their bowlers. Other than him, fellow fast bowler Pat Cummins and leg-spinner Adam Zampa picked three wickets each. While Zampa conceded 70 runs in his 10 overs, him dismissing India wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26), all-rounder Kedar Jadhav (26) and Kohli.
Earlier, after Kohli put the opposition in to bat, Australia ended up scoring 313-5 in 50 overs. Opening batsman Usman Khawaja scored his maiden ODI century to lead the Australian batting unit. The southpaw ended up scoring 104 (113) with the help of 11 fours and a six.
Kohli admits his miscaculations
Speaking during the post-match presentation ceremony, Kohli reflected on how he miscalculated the dew factor affecting the second innings. “We were looking forward to the chase, especially after we pulled things back,” Kohli said.
“At one stage, we thought we would be chasing 350, but we pulled it back after Maxi’s run out. We were optimistic, we were told there’ll be dew at 7:30pm, but there’s been none of that! [laughs] So I got that wrong, I guess,” Kohli further said.
The 30-year old cricketer also talked about the wicket, which he believed didn’t improve throughout the course of the match. Kohli further highlighted the necessity of taking risks in such chases and disclosed when the Indian cricketers felt that the match has slipped away from their hands.
“The wicket wasn’t improving, so you had to make the most of whatever loose ball you got. Tried to do that for a decent time, but you have to take the odd risk, and with every wicket lost it gets more and more difficult.
“With three-down we had more chances, but at five-down, it was difficult. I got out, Vijay got out, and then there was no looking back. No team wants to loose early wickets, and we take pride in our cricket. We have strung partnerships after losing two wickets, but losing three in a bunch didn’t happen,” Kohli added.
“It was one of my finest innings”
Being vocal about his own form, Kohli considered his innings to be one of his finest. However, he didn’t hesitate from adding that he was disappointed after getting out in the 38th over.
“In terms of hitting the balls well, it was one of my finest innings, and even when we were three-down, I thought I had to play my game, the style that has gotten me to this level. But, I was disappointed getting out when the difference between balls and runs were only 20,” Kohli said.
“We will have a few changes”
There is no escaping from the fact that the Indian team management would be looking to play the benched players as part of their auditioning process for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in the remaining matches.
Throwing the spotlight on the same, Kohli confirmed that the Indian team will have “a few” changes in the next two matches to be played at Mohali and Delhi. Talking with respect to the World Cup, the skipper hoped for the players to put in match-winning performances.
“The guys who have got out, will try to make the most of the next opportunity. We will have a few changes in the next couple of games, but the idea is to tell the boys to put in match-winning performances, and the boys will be looking to be in top form before the flight to England,” Kohli concluded.
How Twitter reacted:
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) March 8, 2019
Usman Khawaja is the Man of the Match
“There’s nothing like winning, especially against a really good Indian side. It was good to get my first ODI hundred, was out on 98 once before, so nice to get those two extra runs,” he sayshttps://t.co/q2VKg6oLWe #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/U39GJGgP4Y
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) March 8, 2019
Shikhar and Rayudu’s form is becoming a bit of a concern….it can’t be Kohli v Australia. #IndvAus
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 8, 2019
What a champion @imVkohli great 100… needed few others to step in to support him to win tonight.. hope they will learn from this game and bounce back in the next game.. well done australia tonight.. #INDVAUS
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) March 8, 2019
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