'Not weak against short-pitched ball'

'Not weak against short-pitched ball'

'Not weak against short-pitched ball'

For years, the short-pitched delivery has been the nemesis of Indian batsmen. It once again proved to be the reason for India's batting failure against Australia in the first ODI in Pune. Virat Kohli, though, begged to differ.

The young Indian vice-captain admitted they needed to watch out for the extra pace that the Australians were capable of generating but insisted the hosts were equipped to handle the short balls.

“All teams bowl short at times, but yes, the Australians have some extra pace, which they used well in the last match. We haven’t practiced against it specifically because none of us were dismissed off short balls. We lost wickets because of bad shots, which we need to be aware of more,” Kohli told reporters on the eve of the second ODI.

“I don’t know why, whenever we play Australia or England or South Africa, this is brought up again and again. Short ball is a tactic all teams use, even the sub-continent teams. We should be good enough to play everything at this level and we are confident we can. We have other things to worry about -- situations in the game, how to come out of difficult situations.”

Kohli felt it would not be fair to write off the Indian bowlers over one bad performance. “If you look at our bowling in the last 20 games, we have been pretty good. Apart from the last game, there was one game in the West Indies where we gave away 340 runs to Sri Lanka,” he said.

“But death bowling is an area we are trying to improve on in every game. In India, death bowling is most important in one-day cricket. We have a young bowling attack. They need time. Death bowling is a skill you learn over time.”

Kohli said India would need to arrest the Australian run-scoring. “They are quite similar to our side as far as young talent is concerned. But we sort of know their game plan now. They came out all guns blazing when batting in the last two games. We need to make them work for their runs. We need to plan a lot better against their batsmen. Not allow them to come out and express themselves so freely."

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox