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Sunday 26 January 2020

Identified areas which need improvement, says Kohli

Centurion: India captain Virat Kohli is not ready to bask in the glory of a 5-1 ODI series win against South Africa as he has already “identified areas” which require improvement going forward to the next year’s World Cup.

“We will definitely sit down as a team and figure out the areas that need improvement. I am not denying that there are no areas that need strengthening. We know as a team we need to improve on certain things. We have identified those things. It is up to us to discuss and improve on those things going forward and solidifying those areas for ourselves, Kohli told media persons after the conclusion of the ODI series.

India had made only one change for the final game, bringing in Shardul Thakur for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Kohli said he didn’t see merit in resting Jasprit Bumrah, who is nearly irreplaceable in limited-overs cricket.

There was potentially only one guy that we wanted to experiment with, which was Bhuvi because his workload was immense. Bumrah is a world-class bowler in this format. You know it’s a case of dropping Bumrah being similar to dropping a Shikhar Dhawan or a Rohit Sharma. Nobody will talk about those things. It’s very easy to drop the bowlers.

“Bhuvi’s workload was massive and the two wrist spinners (Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav) deserved to play all the games because of the way they have bowled. They have been one factor that has been in the mind of the opposition the most. So we thought giving rest to Bhuvi was the ideal situation.”

While Ajinkya Rahane got a hit out there in the middle, Shreyas Iyer was not required to bat but the skipper said that going forward both will get their fair share of opportunities.

We wanted to strengthen our middle order so (we are) giving them as many chances as possible. It is important for (Shreyas) Iyer and Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) as well. It’s very important to understand that one knock can be a difference in someone’s career. So (we are) giving them one extra opportunity.

“We discussed with the management and with the coach. Just one opportunity opened up where Bhuvi was feeling it in his body and hence the change. We didn’t feel like we wanted to change something else, he added.

PTI

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