Indian batting line-up fell like a pack of cards in the ODI series opener against Sri Lanka at Dharamsala on December 10 (Sunday). Following the 7-wicket humiliation, stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma has admitted that the batting was not up to the mark and it is an eye-opener for the hosts.
"We were not up to the mark with the bat. 70-80 runs more and it would have been a different ball game. It is important to thrive in these conditions and come out good. It is an eye-opener for all of us," Rohit quoted in the post-match presentation.
India were bundled out for a mere 112 in just 38.2 overs after being put into bat by the new Sri Lankan captain Thisara Perera. India’s top order found it difficult to get going on a wicket where there was something for the seamers. Half of the Indian batters were sent back packing at a score of 16 with none of them being able to reach the double-digit. If it was not for MS Dhoni’s hard-fought 65, the Men in Blue could have been bowled out for 50.
"He knows what to do in these conditions. I was not surprised. Someone batting with him would have made a big difference. There was still something in the pitch when we were bowling, but 112 was not enough runs on the board," Rohit said while lauding Dhoni’s effort which helped India to go past 100.
On being asked about his maiden ODI captaincy in the absence of Virat Kohli, Rohit said: "Not such a great experience. Nobody likes to be on the losing side. We have to focus on the coming back in two games and come as hard as possible."
Sri Lanka completed the chase in just 20.4 overs with former ODI skipper Upul Tharanga scoring a fluent 49 on a strip where almost all the other batsmen struggled to get going. Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera hailed his bowlers even though he felt the pitch was a tough one to bat on.
"Firstly we need to give 200 per cent credit to our bowlers; they did everything right for us, bowling in the right areas and right length."
"Their discipline was excellent and that was the reason for our success. This was an unplayable wicket, we did not expect this. We thought around 250-260 but when we were bowling itself we realised that we had to keep them under 220," said Perera.