Need to replicate our home success on foreign soil, says Kohli

Bengaluru: Their winning streak might have been halted, but India captain Virat Kohli feels the current Indian team can become one of the greatest ODI sides ever if it can replicate its home success in overseas conditions.

Kohli’s statement came after the legendary Sunil Gavaskar’s recent comment that the current Team India could end up being the greatest ODI side the nation has ever produced.

“It is a decent compliment. Obviously coming from him (Gavaskar), it feels good because he has seen a lot of Indian teams over the past few years,” Kohli told reporters after India lost by 21 to Australia in the fourth ODI here last night.

“(But) the journey is long because the team is young. We are playing at home right now. If we can replicate this form in conditions that are alien to us after that we can sit down and be happy with what we have done so far,” Kohli added.

Australia’s win snapped India’s winning streak of nine matches. India lead the five-match series 3-1 with the fifth and final ODI to be played in Nagpur on Sunday.

Yesterday was also the first loss for India here in eight ODIs since November 2003. The last defeat came against the Australians.

“It is all about repeating those processes and try and do the same thing again and again and be consistent in giving the best shots,” Kohli analysed.

The India skipper defended the team management’s decision to give the reserves a go yesterday.

India had replaced the pace duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah with Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami but the move seemed to have backfired as Australia posted a stiff victory target of 335 after opting to bat.

“We have won the series and you have to try out guys 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,” Kohli said backing his bowlers.

Kohli said executing alternate plans is key to success in a match.

“I am 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. That is exactly what I think and what the whole squad thinks,” he said.

Man of the moment Hardik Pandya (41) and Kedar Jadhav (67) shared 61 runs for the fifth wicket to keep India in the hunt during the chase and Kohli said the partnership was a learning curve for the duo.

“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 really did a good job with that partnership,” the skipper said.

“There are a few positives from the game but this pitch was such that one team had to bat better than the other,” Kohli added.

Kohli also complimented the Australian bowlers for their match-winning effort.

“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,” he said.

“If they (Hardik and Kedar) had put on 40-50 more runs 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 also praised the opening pair of Ajinkya Rahane (53) and Rohit Sharma (65) for putting up a century stand but said India needed one more big partnership to chase down Australia’s total.

“We got a good opening partnership, but we needed one big partnership after that as well. From that point of view, it wasn’t a great batting performance from us. But that can happen, people have off days,” he said.

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