Virat Kohli has defended India's decision to rest Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin stating that the squad needs to share the workload of the bowlers and create a strong pool ahead of the 2019 World Cup. Kohli also praised Ajinkya Rahane's versatility while batting in different positions for the team.
"We need to find out best bowling combinations before the World Cup, we always had in mind to bring wrist spinners. We didn't want to play both together but now it's too tempting considering the way they have been playing. It's also about rhythm and understanding the workload of the bowlers. Ashwin and Jadeja have been playing for the past 6-7 years. We also have to see how much we expose certain bowlers who play for us across formats," Kohli said ahead of the first game against New Zealand, reported PTI.
"Despite all the talk which is going around, everyone understands the team dynamics going ahead."
Another player who was dropped from the team was KL Rahul - a player who was in inspired form against Australia earlier in the year before an injury ruined his chances of making it to the Champions Trophy squad. When the question of his snub was put to Kohli, he was very precise about why the talented youngster was replaced by Dinesh Karthik for the New Zealand series.
"We look to give chances to players who have the ability to perform at this level. At the same time, we have to strike a right balance between youth and experience. DK has come in for KL because we didn't want a situation that happened with Jinx (Rahane). He was forced to bat in the middle-order, KL has usually opened for the state team while Karthik bats regularly in the middle-order," Kohli said.
"He has grabbed his opportunities as the third opener, he has stood up and taken his chances. We can play only two openers and he understands the dynamics."
After the ICC implemented the new rules last month, Team India will now begin to follow the same since the changes could not be implemented in an ongoing series.
"There are few rule changes which are quite interesting, guys will need awareness but then we will get used to it. The rule changes certainly make things more exciting and more professional. It helps you focus on what needs to be done during the game," Kohli remarked.
India replaced South Africa as the top-ranked team in the ICC ODI rankings after their series win against Australia, however, the Proteas were quick to regain their place at the pinnacle after beating Bangladesh in the first two ODIs of their series. Kohli, though, stated that the team was not too worried about the rankings and could not be "frustrated about such stuff".
"We don't think of rankings, you can't be frustrated about such stuff. We want to continue playing good cricket. These things don't really matter, it's all about winning, ratings don't really matter, these are the things which might be rewarding when you look back. We have to focus on the processes and the results." Kohli added.