Australias fast bowlers caught India unawares in the first one-dayer in Pune with their searing pace and well-directed short-pitch deliveries. Ahead of the second ODI in Jaipur,India vice-captain Virat Kohli said that the team had taken note of it and that they would be judicious with their shot selection. Excerpts form a press conference:
On facing the short ball
We did not do any specific training concerned with short pitch bowling. Every team bowls short,its just that the Australian fast bowlers have a bit more pace on them. It is of course on our minds because they used it to good effect in the last match. But no we didnt train specifically for it for none of us got out to their bouncers. We got out playing bad strokes and thats what we have to keep in mind.
Do bouncers affect India?
I dont think about these things at all. If I am good enough to play at the international level,I should be able to play anything thats thrown at me. And Ill take that confidence on to the field. I dont know why this question comes up again and again when we play Australia or South Africa or England. Just take a look at how many times our players get out to the short ball. Never. We mainly get caught in the slips or LBW or bowled. So we dont get out to the short ball,the short ball is just a tactic every single team,including the subcontinental teams,use. There is nothing special about the Australians bowling the short ball. As I said,we should be good enough to play at this level,and we are confident of playing it well. We have other aspects of the game,such as coming out of a difficult situation,to worry about. Were not worried about short balls at all.
On Hosts bowling
It was just one of those days (in Pune) where we didnt get it right. While bowling we were not up to the mark and while batting we played some bad shots,losing wickets at crucial times. It was just an off day because if you look at our bowling in the last 20 games it has been pretty good. Apart from an odd game against Sri Lanka in the West Indies where we conceded 340 runs,we have been good. These things are going to happen now and then. The other reason was that the wicket got a bit quicker in Pune once the due settled in the second innings,which wasnt there when we were bowling. But we should still be good enough to hit the right areas in every game we play.
On the Australians
They have got a really talented side. Quite similar to Indias. They came out and expressed themselves,and we now know of their game-plan.We have figured out how they are going to play for the rest of the series. In the last two games,they came out all guns blazing and scored big runs. We need to counter that and make them work for their runs and try and not get into a tough situation.
On Indias new-ball bowlers
Weve been trying to improve in this area with each passing game. When we have favourable conditions and assistance for the new ball,we end up doing well. But in India,its different. Were a young side,and have done well in the last few months. But the aim is to improve with experience and that happens only by playing more matches. In situations such as Pune,you learn more.
On Ishants performance
You cannot judge somebody after two matches. He has done well for us in the past,as recently as in England and the West Indies. Hes an important bowler. Everyone gets hit in T20s,even the Aussies were hit for 200 runs. But they didnt drop their bowlers after that. One must give Ishant a fair chance.