Virat Kohli has promised to “rethink” his tactics after struggling again at number four in the batting order as part of a chastening ODI defeat at the hands of Australia.
Aaron Finch and David Warner dominated proceedings as Australia cruised to a 10-wicket victory with 12.2 overs to spare in response to India’s disappointing 255 all out at Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
A miserable start to the three-match series saw India captain Kohli caught and bowled by Adam Zampa for 16 just after he had hit the spinner for six.
Kohli is the world’s number one batsman in the 50-over format but 16 is in fact his highest score from fourth in the order as part of a dreadful seven-innings streak that dates back to January 2015.
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“We’ve had this discussion many times in the past,” Kohli, who dropped down the order after Rohit Sharma’s return, said to Star Sports.
“Because of the way K. L. Rahul has been batting, we have tried to fit him in the batting line-up.
“Having said that, I don’t think it’s quite gone our way whenever I’ve batted number four, so we’ll probably have to rethink about that one.
“All in all, it’s about giving some guys opportunities and you’ll never know if this works or not if you don’t try.
“It’s very easy to just go with one template and just follow it non-stop. I think people need to relax and not panic with one game, I’m allowed to experiment a little bit and fail as well at times.
“You lose games here and there, but this was one of the days where it didn’t come off.”
Rahul (47) put on 121 for the second wicket along with Shikhar Dhawan (74), but his dismissal proved the turning point for Australia’s bowlers, as India quickly fell to 164-5.
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Set 256 to win, Warner (128 not out off 112 balls) and Finch (110no from 114) enjoyed a day to remember with the highest opening stand in an ODI against India, leaving the host with plenty to think about before the second game in Rajkot on Friday.
“It’s just one bad day at office,” added Dhawan. “We played well against West Indies before. As a team we back each other, and we don’t focus too much on a loss.
“They played really well. We were a bit unlucky as well, like a few top edges went here and there, they didn’t go in the hand.
“When KL got out, at that time we planned to accelerate and those four wickets we lost, that’s where we lost the momentum.
“From there, we were targeting 300 runs and because of loss of wickets we ended up scoring less runs on that sort of a wicket. In bowling, we could not take wickets and they outplayed us. It is the captain’s choice [where he bats].”