India X1 WC 2019:Australia outplayed India on Wednesday by 35 runs in the final ODI of the five-match series that they won 3-2 in New Delhi.
Despite the defeat, captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday said the Indian team management is clear about their “playing XI” going into the World Cup as only one slot is up for grabs.
“We are sorted combination. We know our playing XI is going into the World Cup. There will be just one change based on condition,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
“When Hardik Pandya will come back, he will give depth in batting and open up options in bowling. We know where we are going. We are clear about our playing XI. Now, it’s about giving guys their roles and expect them to stand up. Maybe there’s just one spot we’ve to discuss,” he said.
On being asked about giving a chance to rookies, the captain said it was part of the idea and he will not use it as an excuse for India’s defeat in the five-match 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,” Kohli said.
Kohli further said he wants his players to reflect on the mistakes made before 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,” he said.
When quipped about the series lose, the captain heaped praises on the opposition side, saying, “Australia deserved to win”.
“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, they way they raised their intensity meant they were deserving winners,” Kohli said.
With the conclusion of series, India have brought the curtain down to their international season ahead of World Cup while Australia will tour UAE to play against Pakistan, starting March 22.