Virat Kohli refused to offer any excuses after India lost their first bilateral ODI series at home since October 2015. Australia beat India at the Feroz Shah Kotla to win their first ODI series since January 2017. Kohli said Australia were deserving winners because they were braver in pressure situations than India.
India had taken a 2-0 lead in the five-match series after winning in Hyderabad and Nagpur before Australia bounced back in Ranchi, Mohali and Delhi to win the series 3-2. This was the second time India had lost a five-match ODI series after taking a 2-0.
“…If you look at the overall series Australia played with more passion, hunger and heart and they deserved to win. They were brave in pressure situations compared to our game, especially in the last 3 games, the way they handled the pressure, they really deserved to win,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Kohli was not overtly worried with the defeat and said India would look to focus on the good times they have had over the last one year. He said Australia played in India exactly the way India played Down Under where they won a Test and ODI series in Australia before winning an ODI series in New Zealand.
“It’s exactly how we played in Australia. We were braver in pressure situations purely because they had a series to lose at home and we went out there and expressed ourselves. You have to give credit to them; they are a younger side and they showed more heart than us. Winning a series like that in India is good for their confidence. We know we didn’t play as well as they did,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
India made several experimentations in the series. Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni were left out of the final two ODIs. Rishabh Pant, however, could not make the most of his opportunities in the middle order and behind the stumps. KL Rahul got two games but he did not capitalise either while Vijay Shankar missed out on a golden chance to shine at No.4 in Delhi.
Despite the failures, Kohli said the Indian team was sorted and said only one spot in the team needed some discussion.
“We are more or less sorted with what we want to do. The guys just need to get their roles for the World Cup and expect them to stand up and deliver. Just one spot in the side that needs some discussion.
“The last three games were all about giving the fringe guys some chances, but that’s not an excuse at all,” Kohli said.