Kohli full of praise for Dhawan and Rahul as India defeat Australia

India level ODI series in Rajkot

India captain Virat Kohli

Captain Virat Kohli praised batsman KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan after India’s victory over Australia.

India levelled the three-game ODI series with a 36-run success in Rajkot on Friday. It means things are perfectly poised at 1-1 heading into this Sunday’s decider in Bangalore.

Opener Dhawan hit 96 despite picking up a rib injury during the innings and Rahul bagged an important 80 runs batting at five.

It means India are now favourites to win the third and final ODI. They can be backed at 1.73 (8/11) with bet365. Australia are priced at 2.10 (11/10) for victory.

“We live in the days of social media and a panic button being pressed too early,” said Kohli.

“It's very important to figure out the best team you can put on the park and when you see how KL was batting today, it's very difficult to leave someone like that out.

“Batting at No. 5 and batting like that for the team, this is probably the best he's played at the international level. That knock showed maturity and class.

“We know exactly what we're doing in the change room. On the outside there's a lot of panic that we don't really focus on.”

Dhawan top-scored as India levelled the series

“In ODI cricket, Shikhar has been one of our most consistent performers. I'm very happy that he scored runs as well. It always augurs well when he and Rohit score runs.”

On his return to number three, he added: “Back to number three was good for the team so I'm happy from that point of view that it helped the team.”

However, one concern ahead of the series-deciding third ODI on Sunday is an injury to opener Rohit Sharma.

He had to leave the field after injuring his shoulder when fielding in the deep as India closed in on victory on Friday.

He tumbled in the outfield as he tried to cover Ashton Agar’s cut shot from the bowling of Navdeep Saini.

However, Kohli is hopeful he will recover in time.

He said: “I asked Rohit briefly just now. It's that left shoulder that has popped out a few times. There's no tear so hopefully, he should be back for the next game.”

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