For Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya was the biggest gain from Australia series

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BCCI

For Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya was the biggest gain from Australia series

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SportsCafe Desk

10/02/2017

Virat Kohli has termed Hardik Pandya as the “biggest asset” to emerge for the team in the recently-concluded ODI series against Australia. After leading the team to their sixth consecutive bilateral ODI series victory, the Indian skipper has also praised India's all-round performance.

Of late, Hardik Pandya has emerged as a consistent performer for Team India and his exploits over the last few games also helped him earn the promotion to No. 4 spot in the third and fourth ODI. The marauding all-rounder did justice to his elevation too, by playing a match-winning knock of 78 runs in Indore that helped India seal the series with two games to play. Even with the ball, he has been more than just a support cast member to the duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah and picked up six wickets in the series that resulted in him being awarded the man of the series.

"Hardik Pandya is the biggest asset (from the series). Selection dilemma is always a good headache for me as a captain because it's always better to have plenty to pick from and take the best 11 possible," the Indian skipper said in the post-match presentation.

There is a change in approach in the Indian pacers’ bowling of late who are nowadays bowling well on the flat pitches and don't necessarily require swinging and bouncy conditions to put up a high quality display. With Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah doing well, India also have the likes of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav on the bench, who have done considerably well when given a chance.

"Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah have been outstanding for us. When Umesh (Yadav) and (Mohammed) Shami got their opportunity they were pretty good as well. And those two wrist spinners (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal) in the middle overs were too very good," he said.

India have ticked all the right boxes in the series and almost everyone contributed to the team’s cause. Despite Kohli’s failure to score more runs, other batsmen came to the fore and helped India win the series against the Kangaroos.

"I thought it was a really convincing series win. We've ticked all the boxes. We have been put under pressure, and we have come back four times to win four games. Lots of positives to come out of this series.”

On being asked about how difficult it is to keep the team motivated for an inconsequential game, Kohli said, "The management has played a role in that as well. I think it's become second nature to the players (to keep themselves motivated despite already winning the series)."

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