Kohli: Can't drop Ishant based on two games

India

India batsman and sometime-captain Virat Kohli has taken up in defence of fast bowler Ishant Sharma, saying that a few poor matches isn't enough to discard a player when they've been in good form recently.

India batsman and sometime-captain Virat Kohli has taken up in defence of fast bowler Ishant Sharma, saying that a few poor matches isn't enough to discard a player when they've been in good form recently.

Ishant's place in the limited-over side came into question in the past week after he gave away 52 runs in the T20 against Australia and then again went for 50-odd in the first ODI, which the Aussies won.

But Kohli defended his team-mate's place, saying Sharma had done well for India during the Champions Trophy and deserved some leeway when things didn't go completely right, especially in high-scoring T20s.

He said: "I don't think you can drop a player on the basis of two poor matches. Ishant has had some good performances in England (Champions Trophy) and West Indies. Especially in England, he was an important bowler for us. You can't just write off somebody like that.

"In T20s, everyone gets hit. Even Australian bowlers went for 200 plus score. They didn't change their bowlers in the next match. This is my opinion and rest is on the team management. I am not the captain or the coach to decide on selection matters."

As for the Australians, Kohli admitted the Indian batsmen were concerned more with the pace the attack had, rather than the short-pitched bowling they had to cope with, saying most batsmen could avoid being dismissed by a bouncer.

Kohli added: "Their pace is in our mind but short-pitch deliveries can be bowled by anyone. It's not a special trait for Australia, England or South Africa. Even Sri Lanka and Pakistan also use short-pitched stuff.

"I have always said that if you see the mode of dismissals, it's more about catch in slips, leg before or bowled. Very few batsmen get out to short deliveries. It's not a wicket-taking delivery but a tactic used by teams.

"But at international level, one should be ready to play any delivery that is thrown at him."

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