India vs West Indies: Virat Kohli says 'floater' Ajinkya Rahane lends balance to the team

PTI, Jun, 26 2017

Port of Spain: India skipper Virat Kohli praised centurion Ajinkya Rahane, saying his presence brings a balance to the side and allows him to play an extra bowler, which will come handy during the 2019 World Cup.

Rahane blasted a 104-ball 103, studded with two sixes and 10 boundaries, to power India to 310-5 against the West Indies in the rain-truncated second ODI.

"Jinx (Rahane) has been a part of the ODI set-up for a while and we all felt he had a great potential at the top of the order. He is always there as the third opening batsman," Kohli told reporters after India notched up a 105-run win.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in the match against West Indies. Solaris Images

File image of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in a match against West Indies. Solaris Images

"In this series, he has batted really well in both the games. He paced his innings well. He is such an established Test batsman. He wants to make it count in the shorter format.

"I think he has started taking a lot less pressure on himself and has begun enjoying his game more. He can only go up from here and improve in this format," he added.

Kohli said the role which Rahane plays lends balance to the side.

"He can be that floater for us in the middle order. He might allow you to play an extra bowler in a big tournament like the 2019 World Cup. There are very few people who can perform two roles for the team. He can open and he can play in the middle-order.

"So, I see him providing more balance to us as a side, in terms of allowing us to taking an extra bowling option when he is there," he explained.

The young Kuldeep Yadav scalped three wickets in the second ODI to help India restrict West Indies to 205-6 and Kohli described the spinner as a lethal bowler.

"His cross-seam deliveries turn both ways. I have faced him in the IPL. He's quite amazing with what he does with the bowl and especially on dry wickets like this, he becomes even more lethal. Credit to him for putting up such a performance," he said.

"A wrist spinner is a bonus. When you talk about the 2019 World Cup, We have 15 players here, 10-12 players are ready back home, who will be tested how they react in pressure situation, and who is going make an impact in middle overs with the ball. We need to identify and then figure out who are performing under pressure."

Talking about the overall team composition, Kohli said: "For us as a team, it's about doing the things right that we can do right, execute our skills to the best of our potential and regardless of how the opposition reacts, we want to do our things right, stay committed on the field be it batting, bowling or fielding."

India will play the third ODI on 30 June at Antigua's Sir Vivian Richards stadium.

Published Date: Jun 26, 2017 | Updated Date: Jun 26, 2017

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115