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Ahead of World Cup, the questions that persist for India after series loss to Australia

India’s international assignments are done before the World Cup. But there are plenty of questions like: who will bat at No.4, the backup for MS Dhoni, what are its spin options and has Vijay Shankar done enough?

During the limited overs series in New Zealand, and then the series at home against Australia, there was a focus on picking India’s squad for the World Cup. It seemed like the focus wasn’t as much on the series at hand as on the management of players’ workload, and testing the bench strength. It meant players were rested to make way for others, and some played in positions different from what they were used to. The result? India beat New Zealand in the ODIs, lost the T20Is and then lost in both formats to Australia.

India’s international stint before the World Cup drew to a close at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Wednesday with Australia coming back from 0-2 down in the ODI Series to win 3-2. India become first team to loose series involving five or six matches on two occasions despite being 2-0 up. It was the team’s first loss to the Aussies at  home since 2009.

Virat Kohli Saidthat India has largely decided on the squad for the World Cup. “We are more or less sorted,” Kohli said after the 35-run defeat in Delhi. “Now, it’s about giving guys their roles and expect them to stand up. We are not at all confused. Maybe there’s just one spot we’ve to discuss.”

“The last three games, the idea was to give the guys on the bench and the fringe guys a bit of game time as well and just put them in those positions and see how they react. And you couldn’t have tried that anywhere else apart from those three games. That is not an excuse at all because we expect to raise our standard of cricket,” the Indian captain said.


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