New faces introduced freshness, says Kohli

Canberra, December 2

India captain Virat Kohli said the consolation win was a timely “boost” for the remainder of the tour, made possible by the freshness that came with a changed squad.

India made four changes after the loss in the second ODI, bringing in T Natarajan, Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav in place of Mayank Agarwal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami and Yuzvendra Chahal today.

“We were put under the pump in the first half and in the second half of Australia’s innings. Shubman (Gill) and others coming in, it brings in a bit freshness…The team needed that kind of a boost,” said Kohli.

Canberra better for bowlers

Indian bowlers, who looked ordinary in the first two games in Sydney, got a lot more help from the surface here. Kohli said it was a much better pitch than Sydney.

“I think the pitch was much better for the bowlers. So the confidence levels go up. Playing international cricket for so long, that’s the challenge you face. We were clinical with the ball and in the field,” he said.

Kohli was delighted with the 150-run stand between Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya. “Happy with the performance and hopefully we take the momentum forward. I would have liked to go on for a bit longer, but it was a great partnership between Pandya and Jadeja,” said the India skipper.

Pandya, named the Man of the Match award, said competing against Australia can be a very motivating.

“It’s fantastic…You need to be on your toes to compete against Australia. I feel that you always have that extra edge in you when you play against Australia, you want to face up to that challenge,” he said.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch was confident about Mitchell Starc being fit for the T20 series, which begins here on Friday.

“Hopefully he’s (Starc) ready for the T20Is. Was just a niggle,” said Finch. — PTI

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