India captain Virat Kohli on Saturday blamed the batting performance from the visitors as the reason for the 34-run loss in the first ODI against Australia. Coming out to chase 289, India lost three quick wickets with just four runs on the board, with Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu departing without scoring, while Kohli getting scoring just 2 runs.
Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Kohli said: “We’re not very pleased with the way we played. I think we were fine with the ball. That wicket was 300 plus par. I think we did well with the ball. We thought 288 was quite gettable. Losing three wickets upfront is never good.”
Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni added 137 runs together for the fourth wicket, after which the latter was dismissed for 51 (96 balls). Kohli applauded Rohit Sharma for his fighting ton but added that India could have done better in maintaining the tempo of the game. “Rohit was outstanding and MS supported him but I thought we could have done better with the tempo of the game and we fell short. They took the game deep to give us a chance,” he said.
He further added that Dhoni’s dismissal also added pressure on Rohit. “MS got out at that stage. That put pressure on Rohit. One more good partnership and we would have got close. But losing three wickets up front was the problem and Australia were professional enough not to let us back in,” he said.
The 30-year old admitted that India were outplayed by the hosts, but maintained that the side is not too worried about the results at the stage. “I think we have to take it as a day when Australia played better than us. We’re not too stressed about results. I think days like these make you aware of things you have to work on as a team,” he said.
Despite many suggesting before the start of India’s chase that Australia has not set up a competitive target, Aussie skipper Aaron Finch insisted that the team was on par. “We knew that they’d try and take it deep and luckily we were able to take wickets and stem the flow. I thought we were around par. I thought with the earlier start, dew wouldn’t come in. We felt the wicket would slow up a bit so I thought it was par,” he said.
Finch further went on to praise the performance from his middle-order and seamer Jhye Richardson who picked up four wickets. “I thought the partnership between Khawaja and Marsh set us up and Pete Handscomb played a gem. Anytime you get a team three down early and three big guns it’s very important. I thought Jason handled his nerves brilliantly. And then the youngster Jhye is full of confidence and he’s got a bright future ahead of him. There’s always room to improve,” he said.