Lack of judgement by Rishabh Pant while going for the Decision Review System (DRS) calls was a major factor behind India’s seven-wicket defeat in the first T20I against Bangladesh in Delhi on Sunday (November 3).
However, stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma doesn't want to jump to a conclusion yet whether the young wicketkeeper is good enough to take tricky review decisions.
Chasing 149 to win, Mushfiqur Rahim took Bangladesh over the line in 19.3 overs with an unbeaten knock of 60. However, Rahim enjoyed a bit of luck as India opted not to take a review when he was trapped plumb in front by Yuzvendra Chahal early in his innings.
"Of course, Rishabh is young and he will need time to understand. It's too soon to judge whether he can make those decisions. Plus, the bowlers as well. It's a combination when the captain is not in the right position to make that decision," Rohit said at the post-match conference.
India made a couple of bounders with DRS calls – (both off Chahal’s bowling). The first one was of Rahim’s LBW, which Rohit didn’t take on Pant’s insistence and the TV replays later confirmed that the Bangladesh keeper would have been out, while the second one which they took was a caught behind off Soumya Sarkar, when there was no edge and India lost a review.
"When you are not in the right position (as a fielder), you have to trust your bowler and the wicketkeeper. Based on that, you have to make that decision, whichever format you play," the Indian captain added.
Rohit felt 148 was a defendable score had they been smart on the field.
"148 was a good score. We would have defended it if we were smart on the field. A couple of decisions we did not get it right on the field and that went against us. That's where we lacked in decision making."
Nonetheless, he lauded Bangladeshi batsmen for their application while forging crucial partnerships.
"The ball was stopping and gripping a little bit. These are young players trying to get into the squad, so they need a bit of time to understand how they need to bat on such pitches. I would not call that over-cautious approach. I think we were smart but we did not get enough runs.
"It was good fighting total but when you defend such total, you need to keep taking wickets but they had good partnerships and that was the turning point."
Asked if how difficult it was to operate without seasoned campaigners such as Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami, the captain backed his young bowlers.
"These are the guys, who did not play for a while in this format. These are bowlers we have been identified that they are the ones who can do well in this format. They have done reasonably well."
"They still need to understand when defending smaller targets, they need to bowl according to the plan. They will learn by playing these games. They have the talent and ability to bounce back but only time will tell if they can do that or not."
Rohit also said that asking Khaleel to bowl the penultimate bowler was the best option he had.
"I did not want our spinners to bowl at the back-end. I kept one over for Chahal because he has bowled in that situation before. Two right-handers, I will take that chance anytime with Chahal taking the ball away from them. So that was the idea behind keeping Khaleel for the back-end."
(With PTI inputs)