Virat Kohli has hinted at some changes in the line-up in order to accommodate Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
After dominating South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies and Sri Lanka, India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli is now focused on avenging the 2-3 series loss in 2019 to Australia. In the build-up to the three-match series which begins on January 14 at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, the main focus has been on the intense competition for the opening slot. Rohit Sharma has been great at the top for the Indian team for the last 4-5 years while KL Rahul has been in great form during the Twenty20 Internationals. Shikhar Dhawan also broke his rut in Twenty20s with a fifty against Sri Lanka but he too has a wonderful record against Australia.
Speaking ahead of the match, Kohli dropped a big hint that both Rahul and Dhawan might play in the match against Australia and that he was willing to drop himself lower down the order for the team's sake. "A guy in form is always good for the team. ...You obviously want to have the best players available and then chose from what the combination should be for the team. There might be a possibility that all three (Rohit, Shikhar and Rahul) might play. It will be interesting to see what balance we want to take in on the field. Big possibility. I would be very happy to do so. Look I am not possessive about where I play. I am not insecure about where I bat," Kohli said.
Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul were in good form in the series against Sri Lanka. (Image credit: Getty Images)
For Kohli, it is more important as to what kind of leadership legacy he leaves behind rather than chase personal glory as India prepare for two tough series against Australia at home and New Zealand overseas. "Being the captain of the team, it is my job to make sure that the next lot is also ready. A lot of the other people might not look at it that way, but your job as a captain is not only to look after the team right now, but also to prepare a team that you leave behind when you eventually pass it onto someone else," he added.
Kohli said that the present Australia side are stronger than the one when they toured India last year and returned victorious 3-2. "They are a stronger side than the one that came to India last time, but they still won the series. In the series before that, they played a full strength side but we won the series. You can have the most experienced and the most skilled players in your squad but if you don't play well as a team in that series, you won't win. That's what happened to us last time and when we went to Australia, it's what happened to them," said Kohli.
India and Australia are the two sides with proper balance in each department, according to Kohli. "We, along with Australia, are probably the top two sides, as far as balance is concerned. Whether it's relevant or irrelevant that's for people to decide. But we as a team are excited to play Australia, in our conditions, to test ourselves against the best. But in the year of the World Cup, as many games we play, it is going to benefit us, especially white-ball cricket. From that point of view, we are looking forward to play this series," Kohli said.