Virat Kohli, India cricket team captain, defended the decision to play Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami in place of in-form Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah in the fourth ODI against Australia in Bangalore on Thursday. The Indian skipper said that both bowlers bowled well and India needed to test their bench strength before adding that their performance was more than what they would have expected as well.
“We’ve won the series and you have to try guys out at some stage. You need to test your bench strength as well and you need to give those guys game time. I think Umesh bowled well, even Shami bowled well. Umesh even picked up four wickets and it would have been a bit more than what he would have expected himself,” Kohli said.
The 29-year-old explained that he doesn’t dwell on things that could have and could not have been done in the hindsight and everyone in the squad also thinks like that.
“In hindsight, if you lose, I’m not someone who sits and thinks maybe I shouldn’t have done this. You try, you go for something, if it doesn’t work make another plan and you go for it again putting all your belief in it. That’s exactly what I think and what the whole squad thinks,” he added.
India had won all three matches in the five-match ODI series before losing the fourth ODI. The bowlers had done well in previous three games, not allowing Australia to cross the 300-run mark but they posted 334/5 in Bangalore. India lost the game by 21 runs.
Kohli said that Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav were batting well and it was a good opportunity for them to understand the game but unfortunately they could not finish it.
“When all of us had gotten out, when Hardik and Kedar were batting, we thought this was the ideal situation for them. To understand how the game can be taken till the end. They did really good job with that partnership,” Kohli said. “There are a few positives from the game but this pitch was such that one team had to bat better than the other.”
Both India and Australia travel to Nagpur for the final ODI of the series before playing the T20I series which will begin in October 7. Kohli said that Australia bowled well especially at the death.
“I think Australia’s bowling was quite good. They got breakthroughs at the right time and that really stopped our momentum especially when Kedar and Hardik were going well. If they had put on 40-50 more it would have been ideal for us. That’s exactly what we were seeking but things don’t go your way all the time,” Kohli said.