India vs West Indies: Rayudu and Ahmed form biggest takeaways, says Virat Kohli
Being used as a first-change bowler, Ahmed made use of the conditions both in Mumbai and here in Thiruvananthapuram where overcast conditions aided in lateral movement.Updated: Nov 01, 2018 19:43 IST
Ravindra Jadeja continued his stunning form with the ball as India romped to a nine-wicket win, here at the Greenfield International Stadium, on Thursday. Since his comeback to the India side in the Asia Cup in September, this is the third time that the left-hander has managed to pick three wickets or more to make a strong case for himself ahead of next year’s World Cup.
He bowled eight overs on the trot before coming back to finish with 4/34 in 9.5 overs. Skipper Virat Kohli was certainly impressed. “I get a sense that he understands his game much better. He has obviously gone back and worked quite a bit, especially in white ball to come back and perform like this. He has been smart about what he wants to do with the field. In the field, there has been no question about his ability. With the bat and ball he has matured a lot now and brings balance to any side,” Kohli said.
But if he’s done enough to cement his place in the side isn’t entirely sure. With the likes of Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav also proving worthy options, Kohli praised Jadhav but with a caveat. “When Hardik is fit and fine to play, you have to see what combination you can have to take in the World Cup. If Hardik is fit, Kedar becomes a spin option as well. Hardik becoming fit also gives you four seaming options, along with kedar and one more spinner. You might need one more spin option. Jadeja becomes the key there with the team balance.”
For the Indian pace battery, however, this has been an excellent comeback. Having leaked in excess of 300 runs in the first two ODIs in the series to invite trouble, the speedsters have come good towards the fag end with the young Khaleel Ahmed fitting in well alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jaspreet Bumrah.
Being used as a first-change bowler, Ahmed made use of the conditions both in Mumbai and here in Thiruvananthapuram where overcast conditions aided in lateral movement. Kohli, too, admitted that the form of Ambati Rayudu, who emerged as the third highest run-getter for India in the series, and that of Ahmed were his biggest takeaways from the five matches.
“Two things that come straight to mind is the way Rayudu played and the way Khaleel bowled. Those two things are something that we were looking for a while; someone to back-up Bhuvi and Bumrah — someone to pick up wickets and bowl in good areas. Having a left-arm seamer gives you variation in the attack,” Kohli said. “Khaleel was really good and Rayudu of course grabbing his opportunities, batting with maturity, batting with composure. It’s always good to plug in the areas that you are looking at.”