India may have just played their last ODI before the Champions Trophy, which is still five months away, but skipper Virat Kohli is not unduly concerned and said the more T20s the team plays the better it will get at death bowling in the 50-over format.
India missed out on a clean sweep when they suffered a narrow five-run defeat to England in the third One-day International at the Eden Gardens last night.
This was the last ODI, India were scheduled to play before the Champions Trophy begins in England in the first week of June.
“It’s not such a bad thing. The more T20s we play, we will get better at death bowling in the ODIs. That will be our advantage,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
He added, “As far as batting is concerned, obviously the one area we look to focus on is to maintain our batting techniques and use T20s and ODIs as an extension of our Test batting. That means not necessarily getting reckless and slog every ball. It is very important to understand how to score in competitive conditions. The focus will be on not wanting to overdo things.”
Referring to the conditions in England, he said, “It’s very important to understand how to score in those conditions, you need to have solid base and balance at the crease to be able to score runs in competitive conditions.
“I think the focus will be on not wanting to overdo things and at the same time finding a balance between good conventional cricket and at the same time knowing how to score runs with that.”
In a series in which the batsmen made merry, India’s openers failed to make any lasting impression, but the captain backed Shikhar Dhawan and Co.
“At times, you have to give them chances to return to form. You don’t get ready players for international cricket that often. We should back our openers give them confidence.
It’s a matter of one or two innings, and you get your flow back in the international cricket.”
Recovering from a thigh injury, Rohit Sharma is one of the regular openers that India have, and Kohli said if all of them bat to full potential it would be ominous for the opposition.
“Earlier opening was never our problem, it’s our middle-order which is sorted now. It’s not that we have to go in search for openers, we already have got good openers. We will address the areas of concern, and will try to correct a few of them.”
Recalling the exploits of Rohit and Dhawan during their title-winning run in 2013, he said: “We have seen Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan as a revelation in the last edition of Champions Trophy.
“You never know, if we get stronger in that area. As a batting unit, we have just played to about 70-75 per cent of our potential. If we play to our full potential, God knows how many runs we would score. Yes, we need to strengthen those areas.”