New Delhi: The Virat Kohli-led Team India's nine-match ODI winning streak came to an end with Australia registering a 21-run win in the fourth ODI at M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.
Despite the fifties by the openers Ajinkya Rahane (53), Rohit Sharma (65) and a 78-run partnership between Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav, India failed to chase down a target of 335.
The dream of a whitewash was dashed, but Kohli decided to take positives from the defeat.
Kohli felt that this experience will help young guns, Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav, in the longer run.
"When we had all gotten out and Hardik and Kedar were playing, this was the ideal situation for them to understand how the game can be taken until the end. They did a really good job with the partnership," Kohli said.
"The wicket was such that one team had to bat better than the other. Australia's bowling, in the end, was very good. They got breakthroughs at the right times and that stopped our momentum, especially when Kedar and Hardik were batting well. If they had put on 40-50 more, it would have been ideal for us," Kohli said.
"Things don’t go your way all the time. We have been playing really well today as well."
He also defended the decision to promote Pandya to No. 4.
"For now, the plan to promote Hardik was to go after the spinner. The idea was to probably push the spinner out of the attack and get the quicks to come earlier into the game. He did that in the last game and he did it this time too, and batted nicely," Virat said, making it clear that it might be a "regular option in the future."
"Hardik has got a solid defence and he has got technique. He is not just a slogger. If he gains more confidence and if he can understand how to take the game till the end, he might be a regular at that spot. We are not predictable and are willing to do different things to put the opposition out," said Kohli.
India and Australia will lock horns in the final ODI on Sunday.