Fifth and final ODI goes Australia’s way as Kohli & Co perish at Kotla to lose first series at home since 2015; India skipper indicates that he has a fair idea of his playing XI for the World Cup
India skipper Virat Kohli is dismissed by Australia’s Marcus Stoinis during the fifth and final ODI at Kotla yesterday. Pic/AFP
Winning the last ODI series before the World Cup would have been an ideal scenario for Virat Kohli’s men, who are considered favourites for the mega event. But that is not the way things have panned out for the Indians. At the Kotla here last night, their top order put up a feeble performance and too much was expected from Kedar Jadhav (44) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (46) as India were bowled out for 237 in response to Australia’s 272-9.
Kohli was gracious in defeat: “Fact is, they came here and played better cricket than us. They deserved to win the last three games.” After the 35-run win, Kohli admitted that the Australians were more passionate and energetic in pressure moments. “We were more brave in pressure situations in Australia. Here, when they sensed they had a foot in the door, they did not let us close the door in the series,” said Kohli.
Australia were helped again by a splendid batting performance from left-hander Usman Khawaja, who scored his second hundred of the series. Meanwhile, Kohli indicated that he has a fair idea of what his ideal playing XI will be for the World Cup.
“There will be just one change based on conditions. Hardik Pandya gives us depth in batting and opens up options in bowling. We know where we are going. We are clear about our playing XI,” Kohli said. India were not at full strength considering MS Dhoni was rested for the last two games. Kohli was in no mood for excuses: “No excuses, we are expected to raise our standard. The changes will never be an excuse. We will (still) take a lot of confidence going into the World Cup,” remarked Kohli.