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Rayudu, Khaleel biggest gains from series: Kohli, Shastri

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Ravi Shastri

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 1 :India skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri said on Thursday Ambati Rayudu’s batting at number four and Khaleel Ahmed’s rise as the third seamer were the two biggest gains from the just-concluded ODI series against the West Indies.

“Two areas I can think of are for third seamer — Khaleel has been outstanding. God forbid anything happens to Bhuvi or Bumrah, good to have Khaleel who can come in and take wickets. Rayudu has also taken responsibility at No.4. Those two areas we were looking at (prior to the series). And those two have been addressed,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Shastri echoed the captain’s sentiment.

“I am pretty happy with Rayudu. It is never easy to make a comeback in the team after couple of years. Even though you have to express yourself, you hold back and that is understandable because couple of bad performances can lose you your place. He has handled the pressure really well and batted really well in the last match,” the head coach said.

Shastri also heaped praise on left-arm seamer Khaleel.

“The left-arm fast bowlers can be very handy. Khaleel is raw, he doesn’t have the experience but he has the variations and has the aggression too. Once he adds to his speed, he will be more than effective.”

Shastri said the team is back on track after its sixth successive ODI series win at home.

“We are back on track. I thought we were below par in the field in the second and third ODI. Sometimes you need a wake-up call and we were at our best in the last two ODIs. This Windies team is a promising unit. They have some exceptional players who with exposure, I am sure will test some of the big sides,” the coach felt.

Skipper Kohli too praised his bowlers for their clinical show in the last two games.

“Because of our clinical performance, we were able to finish the game in a few hours. Credit to the bowling unit for pitching it in the right areas. Was surprised that West Indies chose to bat, we wanted to bowl first anyway.”

West Indies captain Jason Holder rued the lack of consistency from his team.

“Not the finish we were looking for. Lacked consistency in the last couple of games. We didn’t bat well. Credit to the guys, admirable performance against India in India. Thought it would’ve been a good pitch. Their bowlers put the ball in the right areas but lot of our dismissals were poor shots, it wasn’t about the pitch. We needed to show more application.”

Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope were the two bright spots for the West Indies in the series.

“Even Oshane Thomas here, he showed he’s got something. Just needs to work a little harder,” added Holder.

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India vs Australia: We were ineffective with the ball: Virat Kohli

Kohli with 89 runs and KL Rahul with 76 were India’s highest run scorers and both fell to sharp catches.

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Virat Kohli

Sydney: Indian captain Virat Kohli admitted that the team was ineffective with the ball on Sunday and outplayed by Australia in the second ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground which they lost by 51 runs.

A second consecutive 62-ball century from Steve Smith helped Australia reach 389/4 and India were restricted to 338/9.

“They have outplayed us. We were ineffective with the ball, and didn’t hit the areas. They have a strong batting line-up, they know the conditions and the angles well,” said Kohli after the match.

Kohli with 89 runs and KL Rahul with 76 were India’s highest run scorers and both fell to sharp catches.

“The chase felt steep, and one or two wickets would have taken the required rate up so we had to keep hitting. They took the chances that they created in the field, which was the difference,” said Kohli.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya bowled four overs and got the wicket of Smith. “Hardik felt okay to bowl. Initially just thought of trying for a couple of overs but he felt good and bowled a couple more. And he gave away a bit of a bowling plan with his off-cutters (smiles), but credit to them, they used the dimensions well. Even Rahul or Shreyas, if they carried on, it could’ve gotten us across the line with Hardik to come,” said Kohli.

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India fall to 51-run defeat; Australia win series

Rahul and Hardik Pandya then put up 63 for the fifth wicket but both succumbed to the pressure that came with the rising required run rate.

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Steve Smith

Sydney: Australia beat India by 51 runs in the second ODI on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The hosts have thus sealed victory in the three-match series, having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Chasing a mammoth target of 390, India were restricted to 338/9 after another century from Steve Smith took Australia to 389/4 batting first.

India started with a 58-run stand between openers Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan. The pair departed within a few balls of each other after which captain Virat Kohli anchored the middle order. Kohli and Shreyas Iyer steadied the ship for the visitors and just as they were looking to shift gears, the latter fell to Moises Henriques thanks to a stunning catch by Smith at deep midwicket.

Kohli soldiered on with KL Rahul at other end before falling to a brilliant catch, this time by Henriques himself, at midwicket again off Josh Hazlewood. Kohli made 89 off 87 balls, putting up partnerships of 93 with Iyer and 72 with Rahul.

Rahul and Hardik Pandya then put up 63 for the fifth wicket but both succumbed to the pressure that came with the rising required run rate.

Earlier, Smith smashed 104 off 64 balls, reaching three figures in just 62 balls for the second consecutive time in this series. He put up 136 runs with Marnus Labuschagne, which was the second century partnership for Australia in the match after the 142-run opening stand between captain Aaron Finch and David Warner.

Smith finally fell to Pandya, who was handed the ball for the first time since making his comeback from a back injury after which Glenn Maxwell smashed 63 off 29 balls to take Australia within 11 runs of the 400-run mark.

The third and final ODI will be played in Canberra on Wednesday.

Brief scores: Aus 389/4 in 50 overs (Steve Smith 104, David Warner 83; Mohammed Shami 1/73) vs Ind 338/9 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 89, KL Rahul 76; Pat Cummins 3/67).

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Virat Kohli 9th Indian to make 250 ODI appearances

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Indian Captain Virat Kohli

Sydney, Nov 29: Virat Kohli on Sunday became the ninth Indian cricketer to make 250 appearances in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). He reached the milestone during the second ODI of the ongoing three-match series against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The 32-year-old, who made his ODI debut on August 18, 2008 against Sri Lanka, has also represented India in 86 Tests and 82 T20Is. Kohli has scored more than 21,000 international runs across formats till now.

Overall, Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for making most ODI appearances for India. Tendulkar played 463 ODIs in his stellar career in which he scored 18,426 runs with the help of 49 hundreds. Besides, he also played 200 Tests and 1 T20I scoring 15921 and 10 runs respectively.
The ‘Master Blaster’ is followed by MS Dhoni (347 ODIs), Rahul Dravid (340), Mohammad Azharuddin (334), Sourav Ganguly (308), Yuvraj Singh (301) and Anil Kumble (269) in the list of most ODI appearances by Indian players.

Overall, Tendulkar’s 463 ODI appearances are also the most by any cricketer in the history of the 50-over format. Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene played 448 ODIs and comes second in the list. Next to follow are Sanath Jayasuria (445), Kumar Sangakkara (404), Shahid Afridi (398), Inzamam-ul-haq (378) and Ricky Ponting (375).

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