Galling as it must have been for the Indians to lose the five-match ODI series to Australia especially after having been so close to wrapping it up midway through itself in the long run Virat Kohli and his men could actually benefit from the result. The Indians were flying high and they were brought down to earth by a side that was brave under pressure and won the important moments and were hungrier for success. Instead of finding fault with the Indians one should give the Aussies a lot of credit.

In a way the result will also enable the Indian think tank to plug the loopholes before the World Cup now that they know what needs to be done. A win would have made the Indians that much more complacent; at least now they know where they stand.

A lot has been said about the chopping and changing the team management made for almost every match – even to the point of resting MS Dhoni – but it could not be helped as they were finding the right combination for the World Cup. When the series commenced in addition to the certainties there were a few fringe players. By the end of the series it can be said that a couple of these fringe players almost made certain that they would make the cut for the World Cup while a couple of them hardly did anything to further their claims. As Kohli said the team now wears a settled look and the squad for the World Cup has more or less been picked. In the ultimate analysis one must always have the larger picture in mind.

While winning a series is important it is more important to get the right balance for the showpiece event. Ideally the combination for the World Cup squad in English conditions should be seven batsmen (including the wicketkeeper), three utility players (one of them a back up seam bowler), two spinners and three fast bowlers. With this in mind it is almost clear who the 15 will be though one or two players will be unlucky to miss the flight to London.

All in all, whatever the composition of the Indian team recent events have shown that there are no outright favorites for the World Cup. This is what Kohli said at the press conference at the end of the series and it is difficult not to agree with this view. Any of half a dozen teams have virtually an equal chance of winning the trophy and it all depends on how they are able to raise their game and play above their potential in the matches.

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