London: India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday said his team had strengthened the lower middle-order which eased the pressure on Mahendra Singh Dhoni to finish off games.
Kohli and his team landed here on Thursday morning to compete in the Champions Trophy starting June 1. “The one thing we needed to strengthen was our lower middle-order contribution. Too much burden was coming on MS in the past couple of years, was what we felt.
“He wasn’t able to express himself purely because of the fact there are not enough guys showing composure to finish off games with him.
“But having had Kedar (Jadhav) and Hardik (Pandya) do so well in that particular phase of the innings, that has strengthened our squad really well. And how they’re coming in provides that beautiful balance to us,” said Kohli at a press conference following the team’s arrival.
“… So that’s one area we needed improvement on. And the series against England really sealed it for us. So we’re in pretty good head space going into this tournament,” he added.
On the Manchester blast that killed 22 people after a pop concert, the India captain said, “Firstly, what happened here a few days back was really saddening and very disturbing for everyone who saw it. And especially a place like England, to say the least, has not had many of these incidents happen in the past. “So, yeah, I mean, for a few people it can be sort of a nervous time. But I don’t think as a squad you have time to focus on those factors, because eventually you understand that you’re here for a tournament,” Kohli said
He said India were a “pretty balanced side” but how they execute plans in the upcoming tournament would decide their fate.
“I feel we’re pretty balanced going forward. We’re pretty balanced side. All the bowlers are bowling well. The batsmen are playing well. We’ve got depth in batting. We’ve got order on those. We’ve got really good fast bowlers.
“You might have the best side in the world. But if you don’t execute it, there’s no point having that skill. So I think in a tournament like this, it all boils down to how you execute on the day,” said the 28-year-old.