Prasidh Krishna, who was India’s best bowler in an otherwise forgettable night for the side on Friday, insisted that defeats are a part and parcel of the game and asserted that the hosts will bounce back stronger, come Sunday. Prasidh said that there was zero margin of error on a flat Pune wicket.
England handed India the first ODI on a platter after threatening to annihilate the hosts, but the visitors completed the demolition in the second attempt as in the second ODI on Friday, the Three Lions handed the hosts an embarrassing thrashing of the highest order. After India, thanks to the trio of Rahul, Kohli, and Pant, fought their way to 336, England made a mockery of the target as they chased it down, quite remarkably, with 39 balls to spare to level the series.
All but one Indian bowler was taken apart for more than 6 runs per over, and the visitors, incredibly, struck a total of 20 sixes en route their demolition job. That one bowler who stood vindicated was Prasidh Krishna, who returned figures of 2/58, but despite the thrashing his teammates endured, the youngster insisted that team India will learn from the experience and bounce back hard and strong come the series decider on Sunday.
"That's the game of white-ball cricket today. With four outside for the 11 to 40 overs, that's bound to happen. I know we are going to bounce back stronger,” Prasidh said in the press conference on Friday.
"It was the same situation last game, we did come back and had a great result for us.”
In what was a run-fest, a total of 673 runs were scored under 94 overs in Pune on Friday, with six batsmen managing to score 50 or more at a brisk pace. Prasidh described the wicket as ‘flat’ and insisted that it was a pitch where the margin of error for bowlers was very less.
"It was a very good wicket to bat on, no doubt. We scored 330-plus and they chased it down in the 44th over. It says it all.
"It was a flat wicket, challenging wicket for bowlers where the margin of error was very, very less... It was an onslaught, we got hit quite bad."
At the half-way stage, India’s 336 did look par, but an underwhelming effort from the bowlers meant that the English batsmen got to the target without breaking a sweat. Roy and Bairstow set the platform by posting their second hundred-run partnership in as many games, before Stokes played one of the best knocks of his career - an onslaught that included 10 sixes - to kill the chase. The spinners, in particular, endured a nightmare as the Three Lions pummeled the duo of Kuldeep and Krunal for 156 runs across their 16 overs.
Prasidh said that England deserve full credit for how they went about the chase, but added that there is definitely room for improvement for the Indian bowlers.
"We did have a plan, we did talk about the way they were going about it. We tried our best when we bowled. There were a couple of chances that may have gone our way but we must give them credit for the way they played," Prasidh said.
"We must give them credit but 100 percent there is room for improvement for our bowlers as well."
There was a controversial moment in the 26th over of the chase when Ben Stokes was ruled ‘not out’ by the third umpire, with his bat appearing to be on the line, and the incident has since created a furore on social media. In fact, Indian skipper Virat Kohli, too, was irked by the decision, and he expressed his displeasure by indicating to the on-field umpires that Stokes was short of his ground. But Prasidh refused to comment on the decision and attested that it’s the responsibility of the players to take umpiring decisions as they come.
"We are not the ones here to make decisions, the right person was sitting there and I think, whatever he did was all that he could do. We are nobody to comment over that.”