India captain Virat Kohli not stressed about composition of his ODI side against Australia today as Hardik Pandya’s replacement Ravindra Jadeja can play the role of an all-rounder in Sydney
India’s Ravindra Jadeja during a team training session ahead of the ODI against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday. Pics/AFP
India captain Virat Kohli said he is not too stressed about the suspension of all-rounder Hardik Pandya for his “inappropriate” comments on women as the side have a ready replacement in Ravindra Jadeja.
On a high after the maiden Test series triumph on Australian soil, India have been hit by an unsavoury off-field controversy due to Pandya and KL Rahul’s controversial comments on women on a TV show. The two are facing the prospect of being banned after an inquiry.
“We played in India against the West Indies with a finger spinner and a wrist spinner, so it’s good that we have someone like Jadeja who can do the all-rounder’s role,” Kohli said on the eve of the first ODI against Australia yesterday.
“We are not too stressed as a team [about the Pandya situation] because you’ll always have things that you can do in terms of creating that balance for the side. And hence, we keep players who can provide balance with bat and ball as a back-up anyway,” he added.
Critical of Hardik-KL
Kohli has distanced the team from the controversy by saying that the side does not stand by the duo on the issue. “I don’t think we will have too much of trouble if we have to change our combinations. We are pretty comfortable as a side and any combination that we go in with,” he said.
Kohli said he is pleased with the current team’s combination and there isn’t too much room for tinkering with this squad in the build-up to the ODI World Cup in England starting May 30.
Eye on World Cup
“We don’t have many games left before the World Cup and hence we want to play the side that more or less will feature in the World Cup. The exceptional case of Jasprit Bumrah being rested is purely because of the workload in the Test series,” said Kohli.
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