Virat Kohli has admitted that Australia’s superb death bowling made the difference as India’s quest to secure 10 consecutive ODI wins was thwarted after they suffered a 21-run loss at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday. The India captain also threw his weight behind Hardik Pandya, who came to bat No. 4. (India vs Australia 4th ODI highlights)
At 282/4 in the 45th over and with Kedar Jadhav (67) and Manish Pandey (33) going strong, India seemed to be on course to overhaul Australia’s 334/5. However, some key strikes by Kane Richardson and Pat Cummins at crucial times dented India’s progress and Australia snapped their losing streak overseas. (India vs Australia 4th ODI Scorecard)
Speaking in the post-match press conference said, “Australia’s bowling in the end was very good. They got breakthroughs at the right times and that stopped our momentum, especially when Kedar and Hardik were batting well. If they had put on 40-50 more, it would have been ideal for us.”
Australia gave away just 31 runs in the final five overs as Steve Smith’s team finally had something to cheer after losing 11 out of their last 13 ODI games overseas.
Pandya’s promotion plan
Hardik Pandya was once again promoted to the number four spot and he continued his aggressive ways by slamming Adam Zampa for two big sixes. The Indian cricket team all-rounder shared a 78-run stand with Kedar Jadhav. Kohli said if Pandya performs consistently in that position, then he could be made a regular in that slot.
“The plan to promote Hardik was to go after the spinner and get the quicks to come early into the game. He did that in Indore and he did it in this game. Hardik has got a solid defence and good technique. He is not just a slogger. If he gains more confidence and if he can understand how to take the game till the end, he might be a regular at that spot,” Kohli said.
Testing bench strength
Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar hailed by Smith as the ‘best death bowlers going around’ after the Indore ODI, were rested for the Bangalore ODI. When asked whether resting these two pacers resulted in lack of discipline and accuracy, Kohli’s reply was clear.
“You have to try the guys out in some stage. You have to try out the bench strength. You need to give those guys some game time. Umesh bowled well and Shami bowled well. If one plan does not work, then one has to make another plan and execute it well the next time,” Kohli said