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 the conditions. 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, the way they raised their intensity meant they were deserving winners.”