Rohit Sharma confessed the loss against Pakistan in the Asia Cup on Sunday taught him and his team many things to take into the future. He claimed things do not work out for some players at times but commended his players for their calmness as well as the Pakistani batsmen for managing to win.
The encounter between India and Pakistan in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup in Dubai on Sunday lived up to its billing as it produced a last-over thriller that was decided on the penultimate ball of the game. For long, the game kept changing its tide and it seemed like either team could grab victory but ultimately it was Pakistan that came up trumps in moments where it mattered the most to clinch a five-wicket win.
India lost the toss and were sent in to bat first to which they responded brilliantly, setting up a 54-run opening stand in just five overs. However, openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul soon fell in quick succession for scores of 28 each, putting the pressure on Virat Kohli to steer the innings. The former skipper was up to the task as he scored his second consecutive half-century, ending up on 60 off just 44 deliveries to take India to 181/7 while no other batsman after him even reached 20.
However, Pakistan timed their run chase to perfection, holding onto their wickets in the early stages before unleashing an onslaught in the final few overs.
"I thought it was a good score. Any pitch, any conditions, 180 is a good score. But if you don't pick wickets in the middle, it's going to be tough. We got to learn a lot today," Indian skipper Rohit said in the post-match presentation.
"Credit to Pakistan, they obviously played better than us. Virat's form is brilliant, there's no doubt about that. Every batter, especially Virat, helped us get that score because we lost a couple of crucial wickets in the middle."
The third-wicket partnership between Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz really took the game away from the Men in Blue as they contributed 73 runs taking just 41 balls in the process. By the time Rizwan departed for a flamboyant 71(51) after Nawaz's 42(20) had changed the game's momentum in their favour, Pakistan seemed to be on the front foot given the flat pitch and considerable dew. Eventually, Asif Ali's cameo of 16 from 8 balls was enough to take them home with a ball to spare.
"It's a high pressure game and you have to be at it every time. A game like that can take a lot out of you, but we were quite calm at the backend, even in the middle when Rizwan and Nawaz had a partnership going. But it went too long and they batted brilliantly," Rohit discussed the game's crucial phase.
"Games like this can bring the best out of players. There will be times when they will be challenged and things might not go their way. There's potential in the players and they've done it in the past. There's class in the opposition team as well," he concluded.