Captain Virat Kohli, on Friday, after winning the three-match ODI series against Australia 2-1, said India haven’t fixed who’ll bat at number four ahead of the World Cup.
“If you look at that last game, Ambati Rayudu batted at four, Dhoni at five and Dinesh Karthik at six. Because we brought in Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav, we didn’t want Karthik to change his spot because he is doing a good job,” he said.
Kohli backed Rayudu at number four during the home series against West Indies last year. But, on Friday, he said, “the middle order we saw in Adelaide is pretty much the most balanced if you look at it. The number four position, again, has been a sort of an area which we want solidified.”
“But because of the combinations we want to play, some times you have to make those changes. Anyone who bats at four will have to take the responsibility for the World Cup, whoever it might be. That person will have to take responsibility at number four, he added.
‘Unpredictability is our strength’
Unpredictability is India’s strength heading into the World Cup this year, said Kohli.
“Our strength as a side has been unpredictability. We haven’t been predictable with our combinations in the past year, if you see the kind of teams we have played with,” he said.
“If you see, it has been a team performance in all three series [in Australia] and everyone has contributed, which is a very good sign for the world cup. If everyone is contributing in different stages then only you can win a big tournament,” he said.
“If everyone is in the same mental space, then obviously everyone will feel very confident, and on this tour we are very happy with results,” he added.
‘Dhoni should be given some space’
Acknowledging MS Dhoni’s contribution in the historic series-triumph in Australia, Kohli defended the former captain.
Dhoni faced criticism for batting slow in the ODI series-opener in Sydney before his match-winning contributions in the Adelaide and Melbourne ODIs.
“I think firstly as a team we are very happy for Dhoni. That he is amongst the runs, because it is very important to get runs under your belt to get that rhythm and get that confidence back. Especially when you have not been playing so much international cricket,” said Kohli.
“Many things happen on the outside. People say a lot of things but as an individual we know that there is no one more committed to Indian cricket than Dhoni and people should let him have his space because he has contributed so much for the nation.”
“They should let him figure out things on his own and what he needs to do. He is one of the most intelligent cricketers and he is not someone who is not aware about what needs to be done. As a team we are totally in sync with what he is doing and we are all very happy for him,” said Kohli.