India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday, 5 December, defended the team's number five position in the T20I rankings, saying that the Men in Blue haven't fielded their strongest XI in the recent times and therefore their low position in the ICC table cannot be considered.
With next year's World T20 in sight, India are giving chances to youngsters in order to build a strong pool of players from which they can eventually select the final squad for the prestigious tournament.
The team has also been focusing on defending totals, an area where they haven't been able to perform that well in the shortest format of the game.
"We need to focus on batting first and defending low totals as well. Those are two things that we need to really focus on. T20 is a format where you can experiment a lot more than ODIs and Tests," Kohli told reporters ahead of the first T20I against the West Indies.
"You want to give chances to the youngsters in the shortest format. We have not played the strongest eleven together in T20Is so rankings cannot be considered.
“We have the mindset that we will not focus on the rankings. Now heading into the T20 World Cup, we need to take our best team to the field, we would probably be playing our strongest eleven going into the World Cup.”Virat Kohli
The 31-year-old, who opted out of the three T20Is played against Bangladesh last month, believes his job is to provide stability and control in the middle-order.
"I have come back into the side so it is my responsibility to take control of the middle-order. One individual needs to bat long and others need to play with a good strike-rate. Batting positions don't matter in the shortest format, it is just about getting the job done," Kohli said.
The Indian skipper is also impressed with the spin-bowling options, in the form of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja, who he has at his disposal.
"Having two wrist spinners is a big advantage when you are playing in Australia as they have big fields," Kohli said while speaking about 'KulCha'.
“You need to have six bowling options in T20 cricket, I think that is the balance we need to create, there can be an opportunity to play two wrist spinners, but we need to find a way to work around that.”Virat Kohli
"Jadeja is in his best phase as an all-rounder, we are happy with how our options are placed. T20 cricket is all about being flexible," he added.