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Kohli pinpoints some standout moments from the ODI series

January 23, 2017 16:22 IST

'As far as batting is concerned, obviously the one area we look to focus on is to maintain our batting techniques and use T20s and ODIs as an extension of our Test batting'

'But I think these guys have shown character and stuck it out whenever we've been under pressure. And that, to me, is the stand out of this series as a captain'

India's captain Virat Kohli celebrates the dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow during the 3rd ODI at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday

IMAGE: India's captain Virat Kohli celebrates the dismissal of England's Jonny Bairstow during the 3rd ODI at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

Skipper Virat  Kohli said the more Twenty20 matches Team India plays the better it will get at death bowling in the 50-overs format.

India missed out on a clean sweep when they suffered a narrow five-run defeat to England in the third One-day International at the EdenGardens on Sunday.

This was the last ODI India were scheduled to play before the Champions Trophy begins in England in the first week of June.

"It's not such a bad thing. The more T20s we play, we will get better at death bowling in the ODIs. That will be our advantage," Kohli said at the post-match press conference.

He added, "As far as batting is concerned, obviously the one area we look to focus on is to maintain our batting techniques and use T20s and ODIs as an extension of our Test batting. That means not necessarily getting reckless and slog every ball. It is very important to understand how to score in competitive conditions. The focus will be on not wanting to overdo things."

Referring to the conditions in England, he said, "It's very important to understand how to score in those conditions, you need to have solid base and balance at the crease to be able to score runs in competitive conditions.

"I think the focus will be on not wanting to overdo things and at the same time finding a balance between good conventional cricket and at the same time knowing how to score runs with that."

Yuvraj Singh bats during the 3rd ODI on Sunday

IMAGE: Yuvraj Singh swings his bat during the 3rd ODI on Sunday. Photograph: BCCI

Kohli showered praise on Player of the Series Kedar Jadhav.

"Very pleased to see Kedar bat the way he did, very pleased to see Hardik perform with bat and ball. Very pleased to see Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) and Mahi (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) bat together and string that big partnership. So, I think, a lot of positives for us as a team.

"Even Bhuvneshwar with the ball in the second game... to win that game for us. To pull it back was outstanding, when it was difficult to grip the ball," he said.

"And even today the partnership was outstanding between Kedar and Hardik, when we were 170-odd for five with all the experienced guys back.

"But I think these guys have shown character and stuck it out whenever we've been under pressure. And that, to me, is the stand out of this series as a captain. The way the new guys have performed and the way MS and Yuvi have batted."

Fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya made a strokeful 56 from 43 balls and Kohli said he brings balance to the side.

"All the teams around the world have a fast-bowling all-rounder which gives them a lot of balance, it allows you to play that extra batsman I guess, allows you to still play two spinners, two seamers and if the guy is good enough he does the job for you.

"I think he bowled really well in the first and the third game, even today he picked up three wickets. He bowled in really good areas. He was one of the few bowlers who was hitting the deck hard and getting purchase off it."

India's Hardik Pandya  and Kedar Jadhav played solid knocks to take India close to the finish line 

IMAGE: India's Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav played solid knocks to take India close to the finish line. Photograph: BCCI

Talking about Pandya's batting, Kohli said: "He's got good instinctive play and now he's getting smarter and intelligent. We spoke to him about not being too aggressive or reckless initially and he understands the importance of rotating strike, and understanding when to score a boundary or hit the big shot. So, he brings great balance to the side, I must say."

Kohli further said the conditions at the Eden Gardens were perfect for Champions Trophy preparation.

"If the wicket has grass and the surface is hard, you expect the English bowlers to bowl in better areas. They were pretty clever with their lines and lengths they bowled as well. It was pretty similar to how we bowl on Indian surfaces and how we reverse swing the ball.

"It's nothing new we faced. We knew it's going to be challenging facing their quick bowlers. That's why I said it's really nice to see two guys step up and take the game till the end. It gives us a lot of confidence going into the Champions Trophy.

"They are good enough to counter pace and swing and play positive cricket. The wicket was challenging throughout the day. You can understand where the game is heading nowadays. Even challenging wickets you are getting 320 runs."

It was another 300-plus affair as the series went into the record books with total runs of 2090 in aggregate, which bettered the 1892 scored in the Afro-Asia Cup in 2007.

"It's hard for bowlers to execute their plans with dew. I would not like to say but the one-day game and T20 game is more batsmen dominated."

The 2-1 result was special for Kohli who rated England as a batting-heavy side.

Virat Kohli calls for DRS on Sunday

IMAGE: Virat Kohli calls for DRS during the match on Sunday. Photograph: BCCI

"They bat till 10th. This series win makes it all the more special that we are up against a side that probably has the best balance going around in ODI cricket.

"If you have people batting till 10 -- bowling all-rounders and good quick bowlers. We bowled well till the 45th and we expected them to hard in the last 5. I was pretty happy as a captain with what England scored by the end of 50 overs.

"With the bat, yes, we could have made partnerships bigger, especially mine and Yuvi. Maybe the game would have been different. The situations are very different in cricket than what you expect them to be. Two youngsters stepping up was more pleasing to see rather than two experienced guys taking the team through. Opportunity for them and they played really well."

Kohli disagreed that England have outshone them in batting.

"We have scored more than them twice. Even today we were within closing distance of the target. If I sit down as a captain and expect teams to get out at 250 and 260s, I'm expecting the total opposite of the way the game is going nowadays.

"I think the teams are scoring 300 plus, you have to make up your mind of going out there and scoring more than that or score more than of what you think they are capable of chasing. The game is boiling down to how much impact the batsmen can have because the bowlers are finding it very difficult especially when you have dew around."

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