India lost a crunch game against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. It means they are virtually out of the DP World Asia Cup. Let’s not consider the mathematical possibilities. Because they are near impossibilities. The fact is India may not make the final.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma feels that wins and losses are two sides of a coin. Whatever the result, the team had to accept and move on. “These things happen,” he said at the post-match press conference.
Here are the excerpts:
Was Sri Lanka underestimated?
I don’t believe in favourites and underdogs. All the teams here are of quality, and you have to play your best cricket to win games. We don’t take any opposition lightly. We were not surprised by the way Sri Lanka played; we knew they have quality in the team. Their last two games tell you they are a quality team.
What went wrong?
We couldn’t score the runs we wanted in the first six overs because wickets fell. After that, we got some momentum but could not close the innings properly. These things happen. We were 10-12 runs short, but 175 was a decent score to defend. But we have seen in this ground that even there’s a good start if you take wickets in the middle overs, there’s still a chance [to win]. Our spinners brought us back, but we were unable to close out the game. These things happen.
The turning point of the match
The turning point was the start they [Sri Lanka] got. When they are 90-odd for no loss, you are already on the backfoot in 10 overs. So they are looking at getting 70-75 runs in the next 10 overs with 10 wickets in hand. They got a brilliant start, and it’s always tough to come back from that situation. We tried hard to get wickets, but unfortunately, it wasn’t our day. The execution [of our plans] was not up to the mark.
Was there a bowler short?
If we don’t get wickets initially, there will be some pressure. After all, we didn’t have 190 or 200 runs. We had only around 170 runs. We have noticed that when batting second is better here [in Dubai]. We knew that if we don’t get wickets in the powerplay, there will be difficulties. I never felt that there was a bowler short as we have confidence in all the players. Sometimes there will be problems in the execution [of the plans].
Was it demoralising?
These things [losses happen], and it doesn’t affect the morale of the team. We have worked with them for over six months. A loss or a win doesn’t change the dressing room atmosphere. We want to keep it that way. We have worked on it; all the boys are happy to keep it that way. If the dressing room atmosphere is good, it will reflect on the field. We don’t judge players based on wins, failures, or good or bad performances.
Why Deepak Hood didn’t bowl
We tried our five bowling options to see what would work and what won’t. There was [Deepak] Hooda, but there were two set right-handers. We wanted to get wickets at the time, so we opted to bowl our attacking spinners — [Yuzvendra] Chahal and [Ravichandran] Ashwin. If we had taken quick wickets, I would have brought Deepak Hooda into the attack.
Six bowling options are nice, and we have played several games with six options. When we go to the World Cup, we are thinking of playing six bowling options.