Panic button pressed early in days of social media: Virat Kohli after returning to bat at No.3 against Australia
After returning to his preferred No. 3 spot in the batting line-up and playing a crucial 78-run knock in India’s 36-run win in the 2nd ODI against Australia, skipper Virat Kohli said ‘people press the panic button’ too early in this age of social media. Kohli was referring to the hullabaloo after he had batted at No.4 in the first ODI which India lost by 10 wickets in Mumbai.
“We live in the days of social media and the panic button was pressed too early,” Kohli said when asked about his decision to get back at No.3 in the post-match presentation in Rajkot.
Kohli, who was dismissed for only 16 in the first ODI, scored 78 off 76 balls, providing the much-needed momentum to the Indian innings at Rajkot, which pretty much lacked in the first ODI.
KL Rahul batted at No.3 as India had decided to open with Dhawan. Both Rahul and Dhawan were among runs in the first ODI in Mumbai but failed to dominate the Australia bowling attack. Kohli, changed that in Rajkot. He scored at a strike rate of 105 in his first 20 balls to take India’s innings forward after a good opening partnership.
The Kohli-Dhawan second wicket partnership provided a solid platform for the likes of KL Rahul, who came in at No.5 and smashed a blistering 52-ball 80 to help India post a challenging total of 340 for six batting first.
“It’s important to not leave someone like KL out. You saw how he batted today. This is probably the best he’s played at the international level. The knock showed maturity and class, and we know exactly what we’re doing in the dressing room,” Kohli said in.
Rahul was also effective behind the stumps, taking two catches and effecting the dismissal of Australia captain Aaron Finch with a sharp stumping.
“When you are playing well, it seeps through into your other skills as well. KL keeping like that certainly gives us another option to think about. He is becoming a multi-dimensional player, and it’s great when players step up like this,” said Kohli.
Shikhar Dhawan fell four runs short of his hundred on Friday in what was his third fifty-plus score on the trot in international cricket.
“In ODI cricket, Shikhar has been one of our most consistent performers. I’m very happy that he scored runs. It always augurs well when he and Rohit score runs,” said Kohli.
India levelled the three-match series with a 36-run win in Rajkot and the decisive final ODI will be played at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday.
(With agency inputs)