India skipper Rohit Sharma had no qualms conceding that they were outplayed by a confident and ruthless Australia in the series opener in Mohali on Tuesday, pinning the blame on the ineffective and inconsistent bowling by his side.
India suffered a four-wicket loss against Australia despite putting up a formidable score of 208 in the first T20I.
“I don’t think we bowled well. 200 is a good score to defend, and we didn’t take our chances in the field. It was a great effort from our batters, but the bowlers were not quite there,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation.
“There are things we need to look at, but it was a great game for us to understand what went wrong. We know this is a high-scoring ground. You can’t relax even if you get 200. We took wickets to an extent, but they played really well. They played some extraordinary shots. If I was in that changing room, I would expect to chase that total.”
Rohit felt the partnership between Matthew Wade and Tim David was the turning point. He said: “For us, it was just about that one wicket between Wade and Tim David. And we were not able to do that. I think they got a 60-odd partnership in 32 balls, which was a turning point from their perspective.”
Don’t know where we lost: Pandya
Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya said the team failed to execute its plans.
“Aap batao kahaan haare? (You guys tell us where we lost),” Pandya shot back when asked about where India lost the match.
“You can’t exactly pinpoint where we lost the game. It is a bilateral series, we will try to improve in the next two games,” Pandya told reporters after the match.
“We failed to execute our plans. They (Australia) played some good shots, credit where it is due.”
Pandya on Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah, who was picked for the series after recovering from a back injury, was not included for the series opener, and in his absence, India’s bowling lacked spice.
Pandya felt the team did miss Bumrah but they don’t want to rush the pacer back after injury.
“We all know what Bumrah brings to the side and how important he is for us. Jasprit being there makes a big difference. He is coming back after injury, and it is important for him to get enough time before he makes his comeback,” said Pandya.
Harshal’s over turning point: Wade
When Harshal Patel came to bowl the 18th over, Australia needed 40 runs from three overs. The pair of Matthew Wade and Tim David took 22 runs from Harshal’s last over, which shifted the match in the visitors’ favour.
“With the wicket like this, we knew that we’re never out of the game. In the middle, myself and Timmy (David) talked that if we manage to hit four sixes in the next 18 balls, the match is ours,” said Wade.
“We managed to get 22 from Harshal’s over and that for us, was the turning point,” said Wade, who scored 45 not out off 21 deliveries as Australia chased down the total with four balls to spare.
The second match of the three-match series will be played in Nagpur on Thursday.