India’s new forte: Turning toss losses into match triumphs - GulfToday

India’s new forte: Turning toss losses into match triumphs


India captain Virat Kohli says the World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand last year after losing the toss and failing to chase down a moderate target had made the team stronger. Agence France-Presse

India’s one-day side have learned to be tougher when they lose the toss following the heartbreak of a World Cup semi-final defeat, said captain Virat Kohli said after winning the one-day series against Australia.

Kohli lost all three tosses to Australia’s Aaron Finch but the hosts bounced back from a 10-wicket hammering in the opener to clinch the series 2-1 on Sunday. India comfortably defended 340 in the second match and chased down 287 in the decider.

Kohli said the World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand last year after losing the toss and failing to chase down a moderate target had made them stronger.

“We spoke after the World Cup the way we exited, you can’t always look for a situation that should go your way at the toss,” Kohli told reporters.

“We’ve literally taken the toss out of context, and we’re as prepared as possible to do something the opposition asks us to do.

“The last six or eight months have been a revelation and the younger guys stepping up is a very good sign for Indian cricket.” India were due to fly to New Zealand later Monday for a tour that will start with the first of five Twenty20 internationals in Auckland on Friday. They will be followed by three one-day internationals and two Tests.

Kohli said the team would be confident after a 4-1 ODI series win in New Zealand a year ago.

“We were very positive in how we played, very sure of what we wanted to do,” said Kohli.

“The thing about playing away is if you’re able to put the home team under pressure, you can enjoy your cricket.

“That’s what we did last year, squeezed them in the middle overs, picked up wickets, the spinners were outstanding.” Kohli said the two wins over Australia had been a perfect tonic after being criticised for the heavy defeat in the first game.

“The last two games were tough wins, it boosts your confidence which we’re carrying forward,” said Kohli.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch said India had been “exceptional” and praised man-of-the series Kohli, who hit 79 and 89 respectively in the second and third matches, and prolific opener Rohit Sharma, who made 119 in the decider.

“They’ve got Virat who is probably the greatest ODI player of all-time, and Rohit who’d probably be in the top five batters of all-time,” Finch said.

“They’re exceptional, and the thing with the Indian side at the moment is their experienced players are getting the job done in the big games.” India are fretting however over batsman Shikhar Dhawan who went off the field during the Australian innings Sunday after hurting his shoulder.

Dhawan, part of India’s T20 squad, watched the rest of the game wearing a sling on his left arm after been taken for an X-ray. The team said the scans were being assessed.

Meanwhile, Glenn Maxwell will have to work to get back into Australia’s one-day squad despite his brilliant domestic form, said captain Aaron Finch, who rates the all-rounder outside the nation’s current top batsmen.

The 31-year-old Maxwell was dropped from Australia’s ODI tour of India after taking a break to focus on his mental health, one of eight players axed from the squad that lost the World Cup semi-final to England last year.

“Outside the top seven at the moment,” Finch said when asked to rate Maxwell after his Australia’s 2-1 series defeat to India in Bangalore on Sunday.

But Finch said the big-hitting batsman, who has scored 341 runs at an amazing average of 68.20 for the Melbourne Stars in this season’s Twenty20 Big Bash League, could still earn a recall.

“Anyone can,” said Finch. “It’s about form, picking players for the right role. I think it’s just going to come down to whichever way you want to match up, specific roles for specific players.”

Agence France-Presse

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