The Indian team put up a complete performance to completely banish the West Indian challenge last night, excelling in all three departments against the depleted West Indian unit. Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan laid the platform for India intially, with Kohli finishing the innings off in style in latter overs.
The bowling unit stuck to its plans, bowled tight lines and kept chipping away with wickets throughout the second innings. But it was Kuldeep’s trickery with ball that stood out.
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It was almost as if this spell of his was screaming out and saying, “Wy didn’t you pick for me for the Champions Trophy?”
Virat Kohli was all praise for Ajinkya Rahane in the post match conference, saying that despite not getting many chances in the ODI setup, Rahane has done very well every time he has been drafted into the side.
“Jinks has been part of the one-day setup for a while. He is someone we all felt had great potential at the top of the order but when Rohit and Shikhar as an opening partnership play well in one-day cricket, then that really becomes a powerful package for us,” Kohli said.
“But having said that, Jinks has always been there for us as the third opener, having gotten the opportunity in this series, so far he has batted well in both the games. Today also the way he paced his innings was really really nice, he was going run-a-ball, never fell behind the rate. The shorter format is something that we all know and he also knows that he wants to do really well because he is such an established Test player and is so solid there, he wants to make it count in these formats as well,” he added.
Kohli believes that Rahane wasn’t in a good head space in white ball cricket initially. But being the great player that he is, he has adapted his game well enough.
“Sometimes, as a batsman, you are undertaking too much pressure in those situations like some people do in Test cricket. I feel in this series, he has really started taking it as a cricket game, not necessarily a change of clothing or anything like that, I think he is enjoying his game much more in this series is what I see. It can only go up from here and improve his short-format cricket, which we are more certain of,” he further said.
Kohli then went onto say that Rahane could fit in as both an opening batsman and a middle order player, giving the team the flexibility to play one more bowler. He also emphasised on the fact that Rohit and Shikhar would be automatic choices for the opening slot and Rahane would be used as a back up opener or as a middle order batsman.
“If he keeps performing like this, he is someone who has done the middle order job as well in the past, so he can very well be the floater for you in the middle order and he is someone that might allow you to take an extra bowler, in a big tournament like the 2019 World Cup, a big series before that as well,” Kohli said
“It all depends on who are the guys who can do two jobs in the team, there are very few guys who can open and play in the middle order and I think Ajinkya is one of them. In the future, we see him providing more balance to us as a side in terms of taking an extra bowling option maybe,” he concluded