Sanjay Bangar, the Indian team’s batting coach, announced that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be rested for the final two ODIs against Australia. He was speaking in the press conference after India lost to Australia by 32 runs.
India’s loss in the third ODI would have been a hard one to take for Virat Kohli, who scored a superlative 123 off 95 balls. Australia, put in to bat, had put up 313 on board.
“There will certainly be some changes (in the team XI) because Mahi (Dhoni) is not going to play the final two matches. He is taking rest,” Bangar said. “Also, Shami got hurt today in his leg so we will need to check whether he can be fit for day after (Mohali ODI). If he does not get fit then Bhuvneshwar Kumar could come in.”
In the post-match ceremony, Kohli hinted at changes in the next two ODIs.
“We will have a few changes in the next couple of games. We have to figure out what those changes are. But the idea is to go out there and win matches and take a lot of pride in winning games for the country. That mindset will not change,” said Kohli.
Kohli added: “We will have a few new faces and they will have to make the most of their chances because there is a World Cup coming and everyone wants to be on that flight. The guys are excited and looking forward to it. A little hiccup in the middle but we will regroup and come back stronger.”
Sure enough, Bangar came out and announced at least what one of the changes will be. The decision to rest Dhoni might prove to be a superb opportunity for Rishabh Pant, to stake his claim in the middle order.
The remaining matches in the series are in Mohali on March 10 and in Delhi on March 13.