LONDON: India captain Virat Kohli said it was a “no-brainer” to bat first against Australia after winning the toss in a key World Cup match at the Oval on Sunday.
India, the world’s number two side in one-day international cricket, and one of the favourites to win the 50-over showpiece event, were unchanged from their tournament-opening win over South Africa.
“It looks like a really nice wicket,” said Kohli at the toss. “It’s nice and hard and dry. It’s a used pitch and we think it’s going to get lower and slower as the game goes on. Scoreboard pressure is always going to count.
“The sun is out, it’s the Oval – it’s a no-brainer to bat first,” the star batsman added.
As for India fielding an unchanged side, Kohli said: “The bowling line-up was really balanced. We don’t want to change anything.
“We won the first game, the team is in good spirits, and we want to come out here and execute the same game plan.”
Reigning champions Australia have won both their games in this World Cup so far.
They picked the same side that edged out the West Indies by 15 runs in Nottingham on Thursday.
Australia captain Aaron Finch admitted he would have also batted first had he won the toss, but backed his side to maintain their winning run all the same.
“I would have batted first, for the same reasons as Virat,” said Finch.
“It might get a little bit slower later on. Either way, in the first 10 overs you’ve got to look to do the business.
“We weighed up making chances but we’re confident with the way we’ve been going.”
Australia are on a 10-match winning streak in ODIs but Finch added: “In a World Cup — it’s a different kind of pressure than playing a series against the same side. It’s another good opportunity for the players to impress.”
Australia: Aaron Finch (capt) David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wkt), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wkt), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah