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Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane to open batting

16 September 2017

Ajinkya (Rahane) was one of them.

Kohli, addressing the media on the eve of the match, said that Rahane knows his plans are clear and India are backing him at the top of the order. This time around, Australia will play a five-match ODI series in India, possibly on flat wickets, with pacers who don't have much worldwide experience. I am not saying it's easy.

"We are backing Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order. Shikhar's absence will be felt but we have got guys who can take on the role and perform well", he observed. MS Dhoni's finishing skills aren't getting better, while KL Rahul, Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav haven't yet carved their name in any of the open spots in India's middle order.

Last time Australia and India played ODI series in India, it turned out to be a run feast but this time, Smith said that he will have a look at the pitches before summing up things for every ground.

While Rohit said that it was up to the individual to find the right way to manage his schedule, he was personally not for taking a break from playing.He had missed the bulk of India's home season a year ago, including the Test series against England and Australia, with a thigh injury.

"I'm sure no batsman will come into the fray thinking he is a specialist opening batsman and needs to open the innings". As I have said before, you can't raise or decrease your intensity according to who you are playing against. That's not being fair to the sport and that's something we as a team do not believe is. So, we like to prepare the same way and we like to play with the same kind of intensity regardless of who we are playing against. "Before the start of Sri Lanka our, the captain said he is looking at KL as a No. 4 batsman". He asked batsmen to be flexible. "It's a good, hard wicket so plenty of runs", he said. ANOTHER RUN-FEST? The 2013 India-Australia ODI series turned out to be a nightmare for bowlers. I should be flexible enough to do that.

"Nothing really changes. I'll tell you Travis will probably bat at four". Not having Shikhar Dhawan for the three ODIs is a blow as the southpaw has been among runs in all formats lately.

The teams will travel across India for the 8 games and here's the schedule and squads for both the teams. He added that combination of three bowlers with two all-rounders is the new strategy.

Could be.(quite) possibly. A lot of teams are heading that way. "On the field, you mean business and you don't need to be friends". Someone like Hardik Pandya or Axar Patel or Ravindra Jadeja. We have to make the most of the time we have. That's something we have focused on.

On his personal achievements, Kohli said that he never plays to achieve the three-figure mark. Kohli already has 30 ODI centuries in just 186 matches. "They have all the time and the right to make the decisions and the team is there to back them all the time", he noted. So I don't put myself under pressure in terms of achieving a landmark.

Head, 23, has played 25 ODI games, with an outstanding average of 40.7 with the bat. Even if I am 98 not out I don't mind, even if I am 99 not out I don't mind as long as we win the game. In that process things end up happening because you want to stay till the end.

Virat Kohli backs Ajinkya Rahane to open batting