New Delhi: The Indian team management are clear about their "playing XI" going into the first match of the World Cup despite their ODI series defeat against Australia as only one slot is up for grabs, skipper Virat Kohli said on Wednesday.
Before the start of the series, Kohli had said that a couple of places need to be sealed and now it is down to just one man.
"We are sorted combination wise. We know our playing XI going into the World Cup. There will be just one change based on condition. When Hardik Pandya will come back, he gives depth in batting and opens up options in bowling. We know where we are going. We are clear about our playing XI," Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
While the confusion regarding No 4 slot and second wicketkeeper's position remain, the skipper said that one only place needs to be discussed.
"We are more or less sorted," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony adding: "Now, it's about giving guys their roles and expect them to stand up. We are not at all confused. Maybe there's just one spot we've to discuss."
Kohli said that giving fringe players game time was always an idea and he will not use it as an excuse for not winning the series.
"Last three games, the idea was to give fringe guys some (game) time and see how they react. No excuses, we're expected to raise our standard of cricket. The changes will never be an excuse. We will (still) take a lot of confidence going into the World Cup," the skipper said.
Kohli expects that his players will reflect on the mistakes made during the series and take corrective measures going into the World Cup.
"It's good we have had these losses, to correct these at the World Cup. The guys will reflect on this series quite a bit. We have been playing a lot of games on the road. We can be proud of the cricket that we've played in the last few months. The series didn't go well yes, but we've played well," the skipper was all praise for his team.
On the series defeat, Kohli was magnanimous in his praise for the Australian side which had "more hunger".
"We certainly thought it was a gettable target, they got away from us in the end, 15-20 more than what we could have kept them to. Overall, Australia deserved to win, they played with more passion, hunger and heart. Were brave in pressure situations, they way they raised their intensity meant they were deserving winners.
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Alright, so the play has been abandoned on Day 4 due to rain. It is still pouring at Gabba. We have lost around 27 overs again today, with one more day to go and even if we start half an hour early, we won't be able to see recovering these overs tomorrow. So India need to bat out 98 overs tomorrow. They are 4/0 currently. Australia batted well to set India a target of 328 earlier. Siraj completed his first five-for and let this day be just about him and the Indian bowlers. They were seen as an inexperienced attack, and no one hoped a lot from them, they were rather expected to struggle but Siraj led from the front, Natarajan bowled with heart, Thakur showed his first-class experience and Saini bowled in second innings despite groin injury, Sundar kept picking wickets and kept it tight from one end as lone spinner. Magnificent day for India with the ball in hand. Theyhave picked 20 wickets in the game. See you tomorrow at 4 am IST. Expect a hard day of Test cricket from the two teams. Till then, take care and good-bye.
After five days of intense Test cricket, the two teams cannot be separated as India pull off something similar to a heist, if the term can be applied in the context of a draw. Five days of facing Smith and Labuschagne’s brilliance with the bat, the pace trio and Lyon bowling as sharply as ever and some hostilities from the crowd, in addition to the spate of injuries and the absence of their talismanic regular captain. If the Gill-Rohit opening stand gave the early impetus, it was the surreal counter-attack by Pant and Pujara that truly turned things around today, with Vihari and Ashwin’s stonewalling efforts in the end while battling physical discomfort the cherry on the cake.India will look to carry the momentum over to the Gabba, a venue that is considered Australia’s fortress, with the series still level 1-1. Given the way Rahane and Co have fought back after the 36 all out debacle, they’ll certainly hope to end the tour on a high. For now, it’s time for me to sign off on behalf of my colleague Shubham!
So the whole last session has been lost and the officials have decided to make up for it by resuming the game half an earlier tomorrow. Day 2 honours should go to India. With an inexperienced bowling attack, they restricted Australian first innings to 369 after the hosts resumed innings today at 274/5. Rohit batted well for his 44 before his attacking style of play led to his fall, yet again. Pujara and Rahane have looked assured in the middle and India, trailing by 307, need them to carry on for long.The coverage starts tomorrow at 4 am and remember the game resumes at 5 am and not 5.30 am IST. Take care and good-bye.