Opener Shikhar Dhawan on Wednesday said poor fielding cost India the game after the visitors lost by four runs via D/L method against Australia in the tour opening first Twenty20 International here at the Gabba.
India first faltered in the field, letting Australia score 158 for four after rain shortened the contest to a 17-overs-a-side affair. Glenn Maxwell was the star batsman for Australia, hammering 46 runs off 24 balls.
The 45 minute rain stoppage meant India were set a revised target of 174 runs in 17 overs.
Dhawan smashed a sublime 76 off 42 balls in the run chase before Dinesh Karthik came up with a pulsating 30 off 13 balls towards the end but India still finished agonisingly short on 169 for seven.
“It was a good game of cricket. It was a very close match and both the teams played really well. We got a lot of confidence from this game and will take it forward to the next game.
“Of course missed chances in the field had their own impacts. The dropped catch and missed run out opportunity but that is part and parcel of the game and we took it in our stride. We conceded a few extra runs (in the middle overs) but otherwise we played well,” said Dhawan after the loss.
India were poor in the field on Wednesday. Skipper Virat Kohli dropped his Australian counterpart Aaron Finch in the fourth over, a straight chance spilled at cover, and then miss fielded later on as well.
Khaleel Ahmed too dropped Marcus Stoinis (33 not out off 19 balls) late in the Australian innings, while Maxwell survived a run-out chance.
Chasing the stiff target, Dhawan held the Indian innings together but got out at a crucial juncture. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa (2/22) had earlier left the middle-order struggling, dismissing both KL Rahul and Kohli.
“I knew we had to score some big runs in those overs and I was looking for that when I got out. He (Zampa) was influential in this game and his statistics were very good. We needed momentum and he took wickets that moment. From there the game got a bit more away from us when Rahul and Kohli were dismissed. He bowled well and with a lot of control,” said Dhawan.
“It was a game where we had to target all the bowlers. We didn’t have much time (in the match). We tried to target him (Zampa) but he got us out. Next game, we will have better plans against him and implement them in the middle,” he added.
Rishabh Pant and Karthik put on a rollicking stand of 51 runs from 24 balls thereafter and almost dragged India to victory.
But the final turning point in the see-saw battle came when Pant was holed out off Andrew Tye.
Dhawan praised Pant, who was playing at this big ground for the first time.
“Playing at such big grounds is about thinking and experience. We have played here before as well and that experience is quite handy. Rishabh is a youngster and batted here for the first time. So, for him it was vital experience and he came here first time, and played such a knock,” he said.
“Brisbane is different because there is extra bounce here. The wicket seamed a bit in the starting as well and so I think we played well. It was an interesting game that we lost by only four runs,” he said.
Australia have, thus, taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second game will be played in Melbourne on Friday.
“Melbourne is like a homecoming. I live there, my family lives there, so I am looking forward to enjoying there. There is no extra motivation as such. I just want to go and enjoy myself,” Dhawan signed off.