Virat Kohli reveals the reason why MS Dhoni was benched in the last two ODIs

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Idea was to give fringe players chance in last three games, says Virat Kohli

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SportsCafe Desk

03/14/2019

After India succumbed to their first home ODI series defeat under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, the skipper looked unfazed by the result stating that they wanted to try out fringe players in the last three games. Kohli also revealed that most positions are sorted before World Cup except just one spot.

The unthinkable happened on Wednesday when a seemingly strong Indian team failed to chase a paltry target of 272 posted by Australia in the first innings. It was the first time that India went to lose three consecutive ODI matches on the trot under their current captain and although the fans looked mightily concerned with their team ahead of the World Cup, the skipper cut across a figure of a satisfied man.

With KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, and MS Dhoni not playing, India’s middle order looked extremely brittle with the likes of Rishabh Pant failing and Vijay Shankar struggling to find his footing in the early middle order. However, Kohli revealed that the positions were already cemented less than three months before the World Cup.

“We're more or less sorted, now it's about giving guys their roles and expect them to stand up. Maybe there's just one spot we've to discuss. Last three games, the idea was to give fringe guys some time and see how they react. No excuses, we're expected to raise our standard of cricket. The changes will never be an excuse. We will take a lot of confidence going into the World Cup,” he said after the match, reported ESPNCricinfo.

After failing to restrict Australia to 300 in the third and fourth ODIs in Ranchi and Mohali, Indian bowlers did a decent job to achieve it in Delhi with Bhuvneshwar Kumar the pick of the bowlers. However, after the top three were sent back to the pavilion, India looked out of depth in the middle order that brought their eventual downfall.

Kohli admitted that the target was achievable in their backyard. “We certainly thought it was a gettable target, they got away from us in the end, 15-20 more than what we could have kept them to. Overall, Australia deserved to win, they played with more passion, hunger and heart. Were brave in pressure situations, the way they raised their intensity meant they were deserving winners,” he said.

India have had an exhausting season last year where they toured South Africa, England, and Australia and Kohli was of the opinion that this series loss was an outcome of that.

“It's good we have had these losses, to correct these at the World Cup. The guys will reflect on this series quite a bit, been playing a lot of games on the road. Can be proud of the cricket we've played last few months, series didn't go well yes, but we've played well,” he added.

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