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Kohli lauds Kuldeep, Rahane for Trinidad show

Tue, 27th, Jun 2017 |
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Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav did not get to bowl in the first ODI that got washed out due to rain but the wrist spinner was all over the Windies batsmen in the 2nd ODI claiming 3/50 and earning the praise of his India skipper Virat Kohli.  

Kuldeep's googlies have almost been unreadable. In the 2nd ODI at Trinidad, a wrong un foxed Jason Holder leaving him stranded at half-pitch for Dhoni to complete a very easy stumping. 

"It becomes difficult when he bowls cross-seam deliveries turning both ways. Usually bowlers bowl seam-up deliveries turning in and cross seam bowling the googly. But he can do both bowling cross seam, so that becomes difficult to pick from the wrist," Kohli said.

"Then when batsmen try to attack, he can slow his pace down, just beat the batsmen halfway into the pitch. So he's quite amazing with what he does with the ball."

Pointing out on his threat on slow wickets, Kohli added, "I've faced him in the IPL as well, he's not easy to get away - especially when the wicket is dry like it was today, he becomes even more lethal. Credit to him for putting in a performance like that in his first bowling performance in ODIs."

The Indian skipper was already thinking about his available and best choices for the 2019 World Cup. He hinted that there are places up for grabs from a good 25-27 number of players both currently representing India and back contesting for a berth. 

"A wrist spinner is always a bonus, something we have identified now in this series, so all sorts of options are open. The 2019 World Cup, we've got 15 players here, then we've got a pool of 10 or 12 back home who will probably be tested over the next two years, see how they react in pressure situations, and who's able to make more impact through the middle overs for us, especially with the ball. That's something we need to look at as a side, to improve upon going ahead, then figure out who the best guys are."

Ajinkya Rahane, India's reserve opener, scored a resolute century at Port Of Spain to set up a massive first innings total. 

"Jinks [Rahane] has great potential at the top of the order, but when Rohit and Shikhar as an opening partnership play well in one-day cricket then that becomes a powerful package for us," Kohli said. "Jinks is always in there for us as the third opener, and having got the opportunity in this series he has batted really well. Today, the way he paced himself I thought was really, really nice. He was going at a run a ball, never fell behind."

He added that a few more consistent performances like these will urge the management to make him play in the middle order - a position where Kohli is confident of Rahane scoring runs.

"If he keeps performing like this... he's someone who has done the middle-order job as well in the past, so he can very well be that floater in the middle order. He's someone that might allow you to take an extra bowler in a big tournament like a 2019 World Cup. There are very few guys who can open and play in the middle order and Ajinkya is one of them. In future we see him providing more balance to us as a side in terms of taking an extra bowling option maybe on tour."

It will be a huge ask for someone like an injured KL Rahul now to earn his spot back - especially in limited overs cricket with all 3 of India's openers getting heavy runs. 

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