For India, the recently concluded ODI series against Australia has been nothing less than a nightmare. Opener Usman Khawaja once again proved to be the vital member as he scored his second ODI century in the series and second overall.
First time Australia have won an ODI series in India since 2009.
Usman Khawaja struck his second century in three matches as Australia beat India by 35 runs in their final one-day worldwide to seal a comeback 3-2 series victory at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday.
"We are more or less sorted", Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony adding: "Now, it's about giving guys their roles and expect them to stand up".
"The resilience and fight that we showed - being down 2-0 it would have been easy to roll over. we've had our backs against the walls for quite a while now, so I'm really proud of the group".
But the skipper urged his players to manage their workload during the almost two-month-long Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament starting 23 March, in their bid to stay fit for the 50-over World Cup in England and Wales beginning on 30 May. Throughout the series, India tried out numerous combinations. Pacemen Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson and Marcus Stoinis also claimed two each. Australia next head to the UAE and will take on Pakistan in a five-match series, both sides' last engagement before that summer tournament.
England remain most bookmakers' favourites for the cup, but their aura also took a dent with a 2-2 squared series in the Caribbean.
When he played, and even when he did not, MS Dhoni established how important he is, from behind the stumps and in front of it.
Khawaja and Peter Handscomb (52 off 60) combined for another big partnership which had Australia looking for more than 300.
Kohli said that giving fringe players game time was always an idea and he will not use it as an excuse for not winning the series. But Kedar Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar put up a good stand to keep the host floating. "Because we know the things that we were wanting to do in these last three games, but purely because now it's only the World Cup after this in the one-day competition". It will be tough for the selectors with few guys coming in. "Especially the batsmen, I thought the way they played the spin let alone the quicks, to get those scores on these kind of wickets, they made it look a lot easier than they were".
The left-hander started the series turnaround with a maiden ODI ton in Ranchi and bettered Kohli to finish the leading run-scorer of the series, all but cementing his spot in the 15-man World Cup squad.More news: United States seeks access to inspect rebuilt North Korean missile launch-site