After suffering an eight-wicket loss at Headingley that helped England clinch three-match ODI series 2-1, India captain Virat Kohli said that such games will make him and his team realise what they need to improve ahead of ICC World Cup, to be hosted by England and Wales in 2019. (MATCH REPORT)
"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," Kohli said in the post-match presentation on Wednesday. (HIGHLIGHTS)
Riding on Joe Root's second successive century and captain Eoin Morgan's 88-run knock (not out), England scripted a remarkable turnaround in the three-match ODI against India in Leeds. (SCORECARD)
The duo shared a match-winning unbeaten 186-run unconquered stand to chase down the modest target of 257 runs. Kohli admitted that they 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. We need to be at our best against a team like England," he said.
The 29-year-old Delhi batsman, who cracked a strokeful 71 before England dished out some disciplined bowling effort, blamed the slow nature of pitch for India's defeat.
"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.
"The bowlers did well, especially their spinners who didn't get greedy and contained the runs before getting wickets eventually," Kohli added.
For the series-deciding final ODI, Kohli had introduced three changes in the playing XI - Dinesh Karthik came in place of KL Rahul, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur replaced Umesh Yadav and Siddharth Kaul respectively. According to the Indian captain, "when the changes don't come off, they look unnecessary so it must be taken in our stride."
"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," he explained.
After winning the three-match T20I series 2-1 and losing three-match ODI rubber 2-1, India will take on England in a lengthy five-match Test series, starting August 1. Kohli believes that his squad for Tests is pretty settled.
"The Test squad is pretty settled, and it's going to be a lengthy series. We want to play tough cricket and we know the English side will provide us with that," Kohli concluded.