Virat Kohli has admitted that him dropping down to No.4 position hasn't really helped the Indian team in the ODI format, but explained the rationale behind the decision. The Indian skipper revealed that it was down to fitting an in-form KL Rahul into the set-up due to his excellent run of form.
In order to find a spot for both Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, India blinded themselves with the fact dropping Virat Kohli down the order is not the greatest of the ideas. It was eventually exposed in the first ODI between India and Australia in Mumbai as Kohli had to take on the bowlers from the word go, but the hurriedness resulted in the World No.1 managing to score only 16 runs. On being asked to explain the logic behind the move, Kohli minced no words.
"We've had this discussion many times in the past as well, due to the way KL has been batting. We've tried to fit him into the team. Having said that, it hasn't gone our way when I have batted at no.4, so we have to see how it goes. At the same time, it's about giving opportunities to the other guys. People need not panic for just this one game. I think I am allowed to experiment a bit," Kohli said in the post-match press conference, reported Cricbuzz.
The team were completely outplayed by the Aussies in all three departments, first in the batting, and then under dew, Aaron Finch and David Warner exposed a lot of chinks in India's bowling, leaving them shell-shocked. With the kind of dominance shown by the Aussie opening duo, it was easy to forget that India were playing at home. Kohli found no shame in admitting the bitter truth while asking his teammates to pull up their socks ahead of the must-win game in Rajkot.
"We were totally outplayed in all departments. It's a strong Australian team, if you don't play well, they could hurt you. We saw that with the bat in hand. We didn't get enough runs. I thought we were too respectful at certain phases and it cost us. Can't do that against a team like Australia. This is a chance for the team to bounce back but as I said, credit to Australia today.
"International cricket is always priceless. The experience you get in any format does well for you when you play other formats. The game time you get is important. If you perform in any format, it gives you confidence for the other formats. Today was one of those days when we weren't allowed to get into the game at all," the Indian skipper added.
The second ODI of the three-match series will be played at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot on January 17.
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