Sydney, November 27
India captain Virat Kohli questioned his team’s body language after the crushing defeat to Australia. He also said Hardik Pandya not being fit to bowl is affecting the side’s balance, which was clear from the way he ran out of bowling options.
“Everyone needs to show the intent in the entire 50 overs. Probably, we played 50 overs after a long time that could have an affect,” he said. India last played an international match in March (a Test against New Zealand that ended on March 2), and their last ODI was on February 11 against the same team. “But having said that, we have played so much ODI cricket that it is not something we don’t know how to do.”
“I think the body language in the field wasn’t great after around 25 overs. It was a disappointing part. If you don’t take your chances against a top-quality opposition they’ll hurt you and that is what happened today,” Kohli said.
Kohli rued that Pandya is not yet to fit to bowl. “We have to find out a way to get a few overs from part-timers. Unfortunately, someone like Hardik is not ready to bowl yet, we have to accept that, we don’t really have all-round options as such right now,” he said. “That is an area to be looked at, it is a big part in any team’s balance… Someone like Marcus (Stoinis), (Glenn) Maxwell bowling a few overs for Australia helped.”
Kohli said his bowlers couldn’t pick wickets regularly. “The key to winning games is picking up wickets, that is something we were not able to do,” he said, and referred also to the dropped catches: “Also, lapses in the field were also a reason why we couldn’t capitalise on any kind of momentum, the pressure that we created in early part of the innings.”
“(We) got enough time to prepare. Don’t think there can be any excuses,” he said, referring to being quarantined after reaching Australia and not playing a practice match.
Talking about the batting unit, Kohli said: “I think we gave ourselves the best chance. Hardik’s innings was the best example of that. As a batting unit we committed nicely to positive cricket and we are going to do that in the future as well.”
Steve Smith, the Man of the Match, said : “I have been searching for something for a couple of months now. About three days ago something just clicked. My rhythm came back, everything came back… Finchy and Davey played very well early on. We could come in and be aggressive. Wasn’t thinking too much out there, just seeing the ball and hitting it. Was seeing the ball well. It was a good surface.”
Australia captain Aaron Finch heaped praise on his teammates for their performance despite not being able to train much as a unit. — Agencies