Losing skipper from the second ODI, Virat Kohli revealed that India didn't bowl Hardik Pandya in the first two ODIs as they want to manage his workload. He also said that Rishabh Pant changed the game when he was batting and also added that he never bats for hundreds on his century drought.
India were hammered by England in the second ODI as they won the game with 39 balls to spare that too chasing a total of 337 in the absence of Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings. One of the problem areas for India was spin bowling as both Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav were brutally attacked by the new English no.3 Ben Stokes. India lacked a sixth bowling option as they didn't bowl Hardik Pandya today like the first game.
It left everyone surprised given the younger Pandya had bowled a lot in the T20I series and quite effectively as well. The Indian skipper Virat Kohli revealed that India aren't bowling Hardik in the ODI series as they want to manage his workload effectively given the cricket coming up.
"We need to manage his (Hardik) body. Need to understand where we need this skill set. Did utilise him in the T20Is but in the ODIs, it's about managing his workload. We have Test cricket in England coming up too. So it's important for us to have him fit," Kohli said in the post-match presentation, reported Cricbuzz.
India's batting approach didn't change from how they batted in the first ODI or the last few years as they batted slowly and if not for the assault in the last 10 overs, India would have never reached 336. Kohli lauded KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant for their brilliant batting.
"We lost two wickets early, needed a partnership and that happened between KL and myself. KL got a big score, really happy for him. And then Rishabh changed the game there. We thought that 300 would be a great effort but getting those 35 extra runs was good. Pleased to see these youngsters coming and doing well."
Kohli, himself, didn't have the best of days with the bat as he played a slow-knock of 66 off 79 deliveries and again failed to reach the three-figure mark. The Indian skipper, however, made it clear that these things don't bother him at all.
"I never played for hundreds in my life, probably why I ended up getting so many in such a short while. It's more important for the team to win. If I get a three-figure score and the team doesn't win, it means nothing," he remarked.
Virat also felt that the 175-run-partnership between Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow was an exhibition of one of the best hitting seen in cricket.
"I think we set up quite a decent total. It was going to be challenging if we stayed in the game for long periods. We started off well with the new ball, with our lines and lengths but England found a way to hang on and got a century partnership. We did falter a bit at times but mostly, that was some of the best hitting that you'll ever see. We never had a chance during their partnership (Stokes-Bairstow), that's how good they were."
He also made it clear that there was no dew or excuse as India had defended well in the ODI series opener.
"Don't think dew was much of a factor. Maybe the wicket settled a bit better but that's no excuse. We just defended a score two days ago. Tonight was a case of lack of execution at certain stages but they didn't give us anything. It's rare to play at such a high strike-rate and not give any chances."