Australia vs India 2018: 3rd Test, MCG - India's predicted playing XI
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Indian National Cricket Team skipper Virat Kohli admitted that he might have gone into the Perth Test without a spinner even if Ravichandran Ashwin had been fit. Meanwhile, India went into the second Test by 146 runs and level the series 1-1.

Kohli said that he wanted to have Umesh Yadav in the playing XI who took ten wickets in the last game against Windies in Hyderabad and looked in good rhythm.

“Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar] hasn’t played a lot of four-day cricket recently, and Umesh took ten wickets in his last Test and was in good bowling rhythm,” Kohli said on Tuesday (December 18). “So that was the reason behind picking Umesh over Bhuvi,” Virat Kohli said.

Moreover, India’s selection came in for sharp criticism, but Kohli defended it. The 30-year-old said that the pitch had played precisely how the team management had expected it to.

Australia vs India 2018: We Were Totally Clear That This Was The Combination We Wanted, Says Virat Kohli
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“We as a team didn’t want to think that we definitely wanted to consider a spinning option on this pitch, especially having had a look at the pitch on day one and how we thought it would play on the first three days, it exactly played out that way. We thought a fast bowler is going to be more productive and more helpful for us as a team,” he added.

Kohli speaks about the selection

Furthermore, the move to bring in Umesh Yadav also meant India had to endure a long tail. In a match where the scores hovered around the late-200s to the early-300s, the contribution of the lower order was paramount. India’s bottom four aggregated 11 runs over the two innings. Virat Kohli said it had been a very tricky decision to take.

Umesh Yadav, Australia vs India 2018, Usman Khawaja
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“So eventually you come to one decision and we back that decision and went ahead with it. Whether it comes off or not, that’s a different thing but we were totally convinced in the team that that was our best combination to go with and the batsmen have to take responsibility. There are lots of variables that can happen during the course of a cricket match but before that, you need to have clarity as to what you want to do and as a side, we were totally clear that this was the combination we wanted to go with.” Virat Kohli concluded.

Arijit Chatterjee

An avid sports lover