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Kohli reveals why India batted first in the fourth ODI

After opting to bowl first in the first two ODIs, Kohli decided to send his openers in for the fourth game.


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What's the story?

After winning the toss and bowling first in the first two games, Kohli opted to bat first in the fourth ODI, paving the way for a comprehensive 168 run win.

After the end of the game, Kohli divulged why he finally decided to bat first: "Today was about doing things the way we wanted to do and I think it is a very satisfying day. We wanted to bat first because we didn't get the chance to bat first in the first three games and the way the ball came onto the bat initially proved that the wicket was amazing to bat on".

In case you didn't know...

Kohli helped himself to his 29th ODI hundred, going past Sanath Jayasuriya's career tally in the process, while Rohit Sharma also converted a sound start into his second consecutive ton as India helped themselves to a massive total of 375.

In reply, the Lankans could hardly pose a fight. Despite former captain Angelo Mathews' dogged effort of 70, the hosts tumbled to a 168-run loss, conceding their fourth defeat in the ongoing series.

The heart of the matter

Kohli clarified that the Indian batsmen had not had ample opportunities to consistently play in the series, with the Lankans failing to put up big scores in the first three games and the Indian top-order finishing off the chase with ease.

The 28-year-old conceded that it was a good toss to win and compiling a big score ensured that the opposition had difficulty maintaining the required run-rate throughout.

While the captain helped himself to a record-breaking 29th ODI ton, going past Sanath Jayasuriya's career tally, opener Rohit Sharma completed yet another ton, his second in the series and 12th overall. Manish Pandey, who played his first game in the series, also got to bat in the middle, along with KL Rahul and MS Dhoni.

What's next?

The Indian team will aim at maintaining a spotless record in the tour by winning the fifth game of the ODI series. They have already completed a whitewash in the Test series and won all four games in the ODI leg over the past one month.

Authors' Take

The series, aimed at identifying batsmen for specific slots in the lead-up to the Australia series and the South Africa tour slated next year, has gone according to plan. However, given the way the hosts have crumbled under pressure, the Indian middle-order has not been tested properly.

Hopefully, the fifth ODI will give an opportunity to Kohli for experimentating and identifying the side's strengths and weaknesses better, as they prepare for a strenous home season, and in the bigger picture, the 2019 World Cup.

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