Thiruvananthapuram, MS Dhoni remains an integral part of India’s ODI team and is only missing the team’s forthcoming T20Is to offer an opportunity to Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli has stressed.”He’s still a very integral part of this team and he just feels that in the T20 format, someone like Rishabh can get more chances,” Kohli said.
Dhoni has been left out of the T20 series against the Windies and Australia.”He anyway plays the ODIs for us regularly, so, from that point of view, he’s only trying to help the youngsters; nothing that anything that other people are thinking and I as captain can certainly assure you of that,” Kohli said.
The India captain was speaking after India secured a 3-1 ODI series victory over the West Indies with a thumping eight-wicket win at Greenfield International Stadium. Though Rohit Sharma and Kohli himself were in rampant run-scoring form throughout, the most pleasing aspect of the series for the skipper was the development of Ambati Rayudu at No.4 and the left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed.
“Those two things is something that we were looking for a while; someone to back-up Bhuvi and Bumrah – someone to pick up wickets and bowl in good areas. Having a left-arm seamer gives you variation in the attack.Khaleel was really good and Rayudu of course grabbing his opportunities, batting with maturity, batting with composure. It is always good to plug in the areas that you are looking at,” he added.
All teams are attempting to nail their selection options ahead of next year’s ICC World Cup. Kohli said he was targeting an improvement in the side’s fielding between now and the tournament.
“If we can be consistent as a fielding side, it can give us more consistency overall in our skills department as well. In the field, we can still improve a lot. We have spoken to the people in the practice sessions who need to do the extra effort to sharpen their fielding, and they are putting in that extra effort,” he said.
“That is the only area we feel we can get better at. Obviously, batting and bowling are big variables. Fielding is something that is controllable and you need to get that from all the 11 players in the field,” Kohli added.