Aus beat Ind in 1st ODI: Virat Kohli says ‘no excuses’, but ‘Hardik not fit to bowl and that hurt us’

Australia beat India in first ODI : Indian skipper Virat Kohli, on the back of his side’s 66-run loss in the opening ODI against Australia in Sydney, said that there’s no excuse for the loss but rued the lack of bowling options as Hardik Pandya is not yet fit to bowl.

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“We got enough time to prepare, I don’t think there’s any excuses on the field when you don’t pull up as a side. Probably the first long game we’ve played in a while, we’ve been playing T20 cricket. But having said that, we’ve all played a lot of ODI cricket. The body language after 25-26 overs wasn’t great. A quality side will hurt you (if you have fielding lapses),” Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

“We’ll have to find out ways of getting a few overs from a few part-timers in the side. Unfortunately Hardik is not ready to bowl yet so we have to accept that and work around it. That is an area we have looked at, which is a very big part of any team balance. Stoinis and Glenn (Maxwell) do it for Australia. The key to keeping the batsmen in check is picking up wickets and we couldn’t do that,” he added.

Virat Kohli has, however, upheld the India batting that was guided by Hardik Pandya, who smashed 76-balls 90 on Friday, at the SCG.

“From the batting point of view, we had a chat briefly now. All the batsmen committed to it which is why you saw us playing with intent. I think we gave ourselves the best chance. Hardik’s innings was the best example of that. As a batting unit we committed nicely to positive cricket and we are going to do that in the future as well,” Kohli concluded.

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Ind vs Aus 1st ODI: Aus skipper Aaron Finch, who scored a sublime century, says, ‘he got lucky’

“Found it reasonably hard to get my timing. Took a couple of chances, got lucky. We’ve barely been together as a team. Each guy has different strengths and weaknesses. You embrace that. Davey, he’s moving beautifully. His rhythm looked outstanding. Smudge was different class altogether. Maxi, the rare ability he’s got to just click his fingers and put pressure on the opposition,” Finch said

Ind vs Aus 1st ODI: ‘I’m not yet ready as a bowler’, says Hardik Pandya

“I am working at my bowling at the nets. But I am not yet match-fit with my bowling…. I will come at the right time to bowl when needed. I am looking at the long-term goal. I want to be 100 per cent fit to my bowling capacity. I won’t exhaust myself. The process (for me to return to bowling) is going on. My bowling isn’t ready,” said Pandya.

Pandya also said that he wants to do both roles ideally. “When I bat, I think of myself as a batsman.”