It is very difficult to leave out a player like KL Rahul and his 52-ball-80 is the “best that he has batted at the international level”, India captain Virat Kohli said after a series-levelling 36-run win against Australia in Rajkot on Friday.
Kohli was even more happy that Rahul batted at No 5 and also kept wickets which will now give India some serious options moving forward.
“It’s very important to figure out the best team you can put on the park and when you see how KL was batting today, it’s very difficult to leave someone like that out. Batting at No. 5 and batting like that for the team, this is probably the best he’s played at international level. That knocked showed maturity and class,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Kohli himself was back at No 3 and contributed an effortless 78 off 76 balls.
Asked about the change from the last game, the skipper said: “We live in the days of social media and the panic button was pressed too early. ….We know exactly what we’re doing in the dressing room. On the outside there’s a lot of panic that we don’t really focus on.”
He was happy that Shikhar Dhawan contributed a stylish 96, which he believes augurs well for the team.
“Back to No. 3 was good for the team so I’m happy from that point of view that it helped the team. In ODI cricket, Shikhar has been one of our most consistent performers. I am very happy that he scored runs as well. It always augurs well when he and Rohit score runs.”
The skipper assured that Rohit, who sustained a shoulder injury is doing fine and is expected to be available for the next game.
“I asked Rohit briefly just now. It’s that left shoulder that has popped out a few times. There’s no tear so hopefully he should be back for the next game.”