Virat Kohli played hard for his 71 © Getty Images
Virat Kohli played hard for his 71 © Getty Images

After enduring his first bilateral series loss as India  captain Virat Kohli  admitted that the team needs to get its act right before the World Cup. England  cantered home with an easy win in the series decider overhauling a target of 256-run in the third ODI to take series 2-1.

The series was looked upon as the battle of the two early favourites to lift the 2019 World Cup starting in May next year in England. Kohli stressed on finding the right balance in the team as the team’s middle-order was found out with the top-order failing to fire. India’s top-order of Sikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Kohli had played an integral role in the team’s nine straight bilateral series wins prior to this.

“These kinds of games will tell us what we need to improve upon for the World Cup. We need to have a good balance in the side, and we need to get our act right before the World Cup. We can’t rely on one skill, and we need to do well in all departments,” said Kohli during the post-match presentation.

Assessing his team’s performance in the 3rd ODI, Kohli said that he was surprised by the slowness of the pitch and admitted that the performance was not up to the mark.

“We were never up to the mark as far as runs were concerned. We had 25-30 runs too little. England were clinical in all departments and thoroughly deserved to win,” said Kohli. “We need to be at our best against a team like England. The pitch was slow throughout the day which was surprising, not damp, just slow. Against the new ball it was two-paced but slow with the spinners. Haven’t seen pitches like that here before.”

India made three changes to their XI drafting in Dinesh Karthik in for KL Rahul, Shardul Thakur for Siddharth Kaul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for Umesh Yadav, but none made any substantial impact. Kohli, however, defended the decision.

“We thought Dinesh did well, but he couldn’t convert his start, so I don’t regret the batting order changes. Shardul was meant to get some exposure, and Bhuvi needed to make a comeback. When the changes don’t come off, they look unnecessary so it must be taken in our stride,” added Kohli.