Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma plays down concerns despite second successive defeat for India

Written by Sumit Seth

Rohit Sharma-led team India has faced a major setback in the ongoing Asia Cup. On September 6, 2022, the Dasun Shanaka-led team Sri Lanka defeated India by a margin of six wickets. The Sri Lankan team who now has two consecutive victories in the Super 4 round has a stronger claim to the all-important finals as compared to any other team.

The Indian batters had posted a challenging total of 173 runs on the day, with Sharma leading the way with 72 runs from 41 balls. However, Sri Lanka started off the chase brilliantly and despite a mini collapse in between, were able to chase down the target with a ball to spare.

The loss to the island nation meant that India’s chances of making the Asia Cup final are tough at the moment. However, Sharma isn’t too concerned about the last two negative results.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, the India skipper said the team should have capitalized on the momentum they got and said that he isn’t worried about losing back-to-back games.

Sharma also defended Bhuvneswar Kumar, who wasn’t great at the back end of the innings against both Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

I was happy with three seamers. Unfortunately, Avesh hasn’t turned up well in the fitness tests. He didn’t respond well because he was quite sick. Ideally, the combination we would play is four-seamers, but three-seamers was something we wanted to try before the World Cup. We need to find answers as a team, like where we are with five bowlers. We know now where we stand with this combination. No long-term worries, we have lost only two games back to back. Since the last World Cup, we haven’t lost too many games. These games will teach us. We wanted to put ourselves under pressure in the Asia Cup. We are still looking for answers“, said Rohit.

“We couldn’t close the game properly with the bat. We had spoken about this in team meeting.. about how nicely we have dealt with in close matches. These things happen. We were 10 or 12 runs short but we still had a good score.”

“We did have a chance against Sri Lanka. After the kind of start they had, we were under pressure but our spinners gave us hope. Eventually, we couldn’t close the game but these things happen.”

“We are not worried after losing two matches back to back. We have won so many matches after the 2021 T20 World Cup. Experienced players can get out or get hit for runs. These things happen, so we are not worried. We shouldn’t judge an experienced bowler like Bhuvneshwar Kumar from one or two matches.”

“We are 90 per cent settled, only a few changes will happen. I always wanted to try and find answers as to what could happen if we played with three fast bowlers.”

“We don’t have any shortcomings. There is quality in the team. There is more pressure in multi-nation series as compared to bilateral series. We have discussed this.. it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get past the group stages of the T20 World Cup and now we lost two matches in the Asia Cup Super 4.”

“Players will have to learn how to deal with pressure situations,” said Sharma.

About the author

Sumit Seth