No ODIs before Champions Trophy not a concern: Kohli

Kolkata, Jan 23 (IANS) No One Day Internationals before Champions Trophy in June doesn’t concern India skipper Virat Kohli who believes death bowling is an area where his team can improve while playing T20 cricket.

For the batters, India’s premier batsman said there is no need to “overdo” things and one should stick to conventional techniques while trying to accelerate in T20s.

“It’s not such a bad thing. The more T20 cricket we play, we will be better at our death bowling,” Kohli remarked on Sunday when asked whether not engaging in any 50-over competition before heading to England for the Champions Trophy is a disadvantage.

“As far as our batting is concerned, we will look to maintain our existing techniques, and just using T20s and ODIs as an extension of Test cricket and not necessarily having to be reckless and slog every ball,” Kohli, who led his team to a 2-1 win against England in the just-concluded ODI series, said.

England won the third and final ODI by five runs in Kolkata on Sunday.

“It’s very important to understand how to score in those conditions and you need to have a solid base and balance at the crease to be able to score runs in competitive conditions.

“The focus will be on not trying to overdo things and play good conventional cricket.”

Middle-order batsman Kedar Jadhav was India’s find of the series scoring a total of 232 runs at an average of 77.33.

Jadhav almost won the match on Sunday at the Eden Gardens with his fluent 90 off 75 balls but an all-round show from Ben Stokes took the game away.

Jadhav came in when the team in a spot of bother, much like he did in the first ODI in Pune where he notched up a brilliant 120 to win the match.

On Sunday, Hardik Pandya came good as well with bat and ball taking three wickets and also scoring a career-best 56.

Kohli said more than the seniors like M.S. Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh — both of whom got centuries in the second ODI — getting into their own, it was the relatively newer members of the team’s show that pleased him the most.

“It gives us a lot of confidence going into the Champions Trophy to have two guys good enough to counter pace and swing,” Kohli said.

“Two youngsters stepping up was more special than experienced guys stepping up.”

India now play England on Thursday in the first of three T20 Internationals.

–IANS

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