Kohli wants to give out of form openers time

Kolkata, Jan 22 (IANS) The poor form of Indian openers in the ODI series against England is not a concern for captain Virat Kohli, who on Sunday said they need to be given some time.

India lost to England by five runs to end the three-match series 2-1. The openers, Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane scored a total of 37 runs with Rahane playing just Sunday’s game and scoring just one.

“The areas of concerns will be addressed,” Kohli told reporters at the post match press conference here. “Previously we did not have opening problem, but it was the middle order which is now sorted.”

“We have good openers too and it’s not that we have to find openers. It’s just a matter of time before they come back to form and we need to give them that chance,” Kohli, who finished the series amassing 185 runs at an average of 61.66 said.

On Kedar Jadhav, who almost won the match for the hosts with a brilliant 90 and ended up as the highest run-scorer with 232 runs, Kohli said the biggest gain from the series is the youngsters soaking in the pressure and veterans Yuvraj Singh and M.S. Dhoni finding their touch again.

“I would talk about the positives. Very pleased to see Kedar bat the way he did and the way Hardik played with bat and ball. Very pleased to see Yuvi and Mahi back together again and string in that big partnership,” he said.

“Lot of positives for us as a team. Even Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) with the ball in the second game. Even today the partnership was outstanding. These guts showed character and stuck at it under pressure. That for me is a standout, the way the relatively young guys have performed and the way Yuvi and M.S. played,” Kohli said.

Kohli added that having Pandya, who scored 115 runs and took five wickets in the series, is immensely helpful as it gives an opportunity to play two seamers and two spinners.

“If you see teams around the world, they have a fast bowling all-rounder which really gives the team a lot of balance. It allows you to play that extra batsman and play two seamers and two spinners,” the captain said.

“He bowled really well in the first and the third game. Even today he picked up three wickets. Bowled in really good areas. He was one of the few bowlers who was hitting the deck hard and getting purchase off it. With the bat as well, he has got good instinctive play and has become more smarter and intelligent with more games,” he added.

The team will travel to Kanpur on Monday. The first of the three T20s starts next Thursday.

–IANS

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