Captain Virat Kohli gave hints that Lokesh Rahul may be preferred at the crucial No. 4 slot in the World Cup after his hundred in India’s 95-run win over Bangladesh in a warm-up match in Cardiff on Tuesday. “The biggest positive from today was the way KL (Rahul) batted at No. 4, everyone else knows their roles. It is important that he gets the runs and he is such a class player,” Kohli said of Rahul who hit a 99-ball 108, after India’s big win in their final World Cup warm-up game.
“MS (Dhoni) and Hardik were superb as well,” he added. Dhoni also scored a hundred — a 78-ball 113 — while Hardik Pandya contributed 21 from 11 deliveries down the order.
“We were challenged by their batsmen as well but we bowled well and our spinners got wickets too. Bumrah got us the breakthrough and Chahal and Kuldeep got us six wickets,” Kohli said.
He said in the World Cup matches the ball might turn a bit in the second half and swing and seam would be important in the first fifteen overs. He said most of the teams winning the toss would want to chase.
“We have had two good challenges in the two games while batting first. Shikhar and Rohit are quality players, they become stars in ICC events. I understand if guys don’t get going rightaway in this format, but I am glad with what we got out of these two games.
“The last 15 overs could be challenging on the field, especially when the game is not interesting and you have to go through the motions. But once the tournament starts nobody would find all these things long, which is what you expect from a world class tournament like the World Cup.”
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said, “We have spent fours weeks here. So, a few players have some niggles.
“Looks alright (about his fitness), but we need to look after our bowlers. Our top-order is scoring some runs. Sowmya batted well, Liton and Mushy did a good job. Overall, the top-order batsmen need to understand their role”.
(With PTI Inputs)