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India vs New Zealand 2017: Virat Kohli Reveals the Reason Behind 'Resting' Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: October 22, 2017, 10:38 AM IST
India vs New Zealand 2017: Virat Kohli Reveals the Reason Behind 'Resting' Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin

File image of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja during training. (Getty Images)

Mumbai: India captain Virat Kohli defended the team's decision to 'rest' ace spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, saying it's important to understand the workload of the bowlers and also create a stronger pool to choose from for the team management.

"We are giving chances to guys who we think have the ability to perform at this level. It is something we need to experiment with, to find our best bowling combination before we can reach the World Cup stage," Kohli said on the eve of the first one-day international against New Zealand in Mumbai.

"It's a combination of... giving guys chances as well as understanding the workload of bowlers who have played a for a while. Ashwin and Jadeja have played for the last six, seven years limited-overs cricket for us regularly. These youngsters have stepped up. It creates a strong pool for us before the World Cup," he added.

He added that all the players understand team dynamics, "Despite all the talk which is going around, everyone understand the team dynamics going ahead."

Kohli also explained the decision behind omission of KL Rahul from the squad, saying the team wanted someone who could bat in the middle-order, and Dinesh Karthik fitted the bill perfectly,

"We look to give chances to players who have the ability to perform at this level. At the same time, we have to strike a right balance between youth and experience. DK has come in for KL, because we didn't want a situation that happened with Jinx(Rahane). He was forced to bat in the middle-order, KL has usually opened for the state team while Karthik bats regularly in the middle-order." Kohli explained.

He praised Rahane for making most of the limited opportunities in the top of the order.

"He has grabbed his opportunities as third opener, he has stood up and taken his chances. We can play only two openers and he understands the dynamics." Kohli said.

The series will also be played with new ICC rules coming into play, and the Indian captain added that the team has had a discussion about it.

"There are few rules which are very different. The batsman reaching the crease and after that the bat bouncing off being not out. The rule of umpires' call in DRS (Decision Review System). So there are few rule changes which are quite interesting. There is one about catching as well," Kohli said.

"So I think guys will need awareness about the new rules. They are always difficult to keep a check on initially, but I think we all will get used to it.

"But it's a good thing, new regulations will makes things much more exciting and bit more professional I guess. You have to keep in mind a lot of things while you are on the field and this just adds to that and helps you focus more on what needs to be done during the course of a game," Kohli added.

Kohli refused to be drawn into a debate regarding rankings, saying it's not something that the players worry about.

"We don't think of rankings. Points are tied. We had a rest period, South Africa are playing games in that period, so you can't really pinpoint some things, you can't be frustrated sitting at home that your ranking is gone and stuff like that," said Kohli after India were dislodged from the top ICC ODI rankings by South Africa on rating points.

"We just want to play good cricket, we've been playing good cricket and that continues to be our main goal. We are really happy with what we are doing as a team at the moment. These things will go up and down because not all teams play together.

"As I said, even for batsmen you play at different stages, someone goes up in points someone doesn't. It doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, you have to contribute towards the team's win. Rankings, ratings all these things are definitely incentives of doing well, but that's not the ultimate goal," he added.

Talking about India's hectic schedule, Kohli said it is something which needs to be looked at.

"This is New Zealand's first ODI assignment after the Champions Trophy. Resting and recovery is also important for players, sometimes it can be the difference between doing well in a tournament and not doing well. Our schedule has become quite hectic and it is something that needs to be looked at." Kohli said, while signing off.

After the limited-overs series New Zealand India are scheduled to play Sri Lanka in a three-Test, three-ODI and three-T20 match series beginning at Kolkata on November 16.

"We are expected to perform on a consistent basis. But I think the rest and time to prepare should be adequate for all. This should not be an area where players are changed according to form, you need to look at all aspects in terms of how many games you are playing, how much rest you are getting," Kohli said.

Squads: India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, George Worker and Ish Sodhi.
First Published: October 22, 2017, 10:10 AM IST

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1 India 4397 116
2 England 5310 108
3 South Africa 3712 106
4 New Zealand 2834 105
5 Australia 3663 102
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