India v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval June 8, 2017

Kohli credits Sri Lanka for seizing the moment

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Virat Kohli was dismissed for a rare ODI duck © Getty Images

In the crucial segment between overs 25 and 40 India managed to score just 80 runs. In the same phase of their innings, Sri Lanka added 103 runs. Having started on a steady note, did India fall short of what could and should have been an insurmountable target?

Until the final ten overs began, India were scoring at a run-rate of about five an over despite Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma giving them a solid opening with a 138-run stand in the first 25 overs. Against Pakistan, it had been a similar storyline, but the big difference was Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya providing them a robust ending with their powerhitting.

Today, all three of those batsmen failed, and despite MS Dhoni bringing forth his best finishing skills, India seemed at least 20 runs short.

Virat Kohli, however, disagreed with such thinking. India, Kohli pointed out, do not play the "explosive" brand of cricket through the middle overs that teams such as England have made a trademark. Instead, he simply felt that Sri Lanka's basmen had been too good on the day.

"I think batting did really well," Kohli said. "We obviously have to consolidate and then explode in the end, and that's the way we always play.

"We don't - we are not a side that always plays explosive cricket throughout the 50 overs, but if a side comes out here and plays cricket with that kind of mindset and executes their shots so well, then you have to take your hat off sometimes and say very well played."

Pushed to have a re-think, Kohli admitted that, next time, India might have to pace the innings better to raise a more competitive target.

"I thought we paced it well. I thought we had enough on the board. In hindsight, when you look back, maybe you think of phases that we could have accelerated, but I don't see that as a major issue.

"Maybe we will have to push harder now in the next few games to give us a 20-run cushion. Maybe after seeing a result like this, because we're playing on the same ground as well."

At the outset of the tournament, Kohli had said in a tightly-knit tournament like this, what matters on the day is execution. India just messed up both with the ball and the bat in execution. It only made Sri Lanka's job easier.

Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • unkown on June 12, 2017, 8:17 GMT

    "We obviously have to consolidate and then explode in the end, and that's the way we always play" - Any good management school will tell you the"that's the way we've always done things around here" is a very poor attitude when seeking continuous improvement. If Kohli views things in this way then I'm afraid future does not look good under his leadership. You have to keep finding new ways to improve or you can keep "taking your hat off to the opposition"! Like others India should also have the ability to pick up pace in the middle overs!

  • unkown on June 11, 2017, 23:46 GMT

    I have always said what this article is stating now! India leaves its run charge for last 10 overs, they don't think of increasing the run rate earlier when in a strong position. Players like Rohit (and he can't be blamed cos the team has not set any guidelines here) wait till getting to 100 before increasing run rate. While players like Yuvraj and Dhoni are req'd to pick up pace from ball one as a result! India needs to up the run rate much earlier to ensure consistently huge totals. Rohit especially needs to start hitting out when he gets to 65-70 odd rather than meander to 100!!

  •   cricfanMattegoda on June 11, 2017, 17:31 GMT

    India is the best team on the card and they have the better record comparing with SL. But it doesn't say they are less talented.. actually this young side is more talented than Sanga, Mahela era team. I'm pretty sure in this kind of pitch India can never beat this Sri Lankan side. they all are strong natural hitters except Dinesh Chandimal

  • Imranul on June 11, 2017, 12:12 GMT

    So called best team in the world lost to bottom of the world! India is winning everyone's heart!

  • Desmond on June 11, 2017, 3:18 GMT

    Indian fielding both ground and catching was not good enough although it affected couple of run-outs. Indian bowlers did not bowl accurately either with good length deliveries in the channel outside off or based on the ground. Example, if boundaries on the off side were shorter, they should have bowled back of length or good length through the channel or short-pitched on the middle or leg stump and, if boundaries on the on side were shorter, should have bowled back of length or good length through the channel or wide outside off (but within line not to be called wide). India were also a bit slow in the middle overs (power play 2). 15-20 extra runs in those 30 overs would have been very handy although 321 should have been sufficient with good intelligent bowling and decent fielding.

  • yogara8340483 on June 11, 2017, 2:02 GMT

    INDIA played well. But Sri Lanka played very well. The SL batsmen started off explosively and continuously played aggressive cricket through out the 50 overs. Even after the unnecessary run-outs of Danushka and Kusal mendis, Skipper Mathews and Kusal Janith Perera did not let the strong position go. Mathews after a long gap played a pivotal role in this match. This also exposed the weakness of the Indian bowlers in the middle overs. Indian bowlers were unsettled by extra ordinary batting display of Sri Lanka.

  • Arka Mukhopadhyay on June 10, 2017, 22:17 GMT

    Sri Lanka played well -- no doubt about that! But India paid price for being complacent --you can't ignore any team in this kind of tournament! Indian bowlers assumed that match was over after the high score--no intent in bowling and fielding is at low of last 5 years at least--in both the matches!!

    Those who are mentioning to leave Yuvraj out --he is the one who won us the Pakistan match--he is a match winner --and thats why he should be there in the team-plus a good fielder. Jadeja can't be dropped as he can win a match just by fielding. Only Jadav is someone who can be left out with it and I am sure that's what going to happen -- India have enough batsman --no need of another!

    What India lack is a GENUINE Match winner bowler--and India only had one in last 5 years --thats Ashwin! whatever be the pitch --easy or spinners track he will get his chin up and deliver his best -- unlike others who already paid the price of being complacent. Bhuvi is great but he is not as gritty as Ash!!

  • Ashok on June 10, 2017, 14:45 GMT

    Indian team needs a few changes in the next match vs. RSA. Bring in Shami & Ashwin by selecting just 2 out of3 guys- Yuvraj, Pandya & Jadhav. India cannot afford 7 runs in 19 balls from Yuvraj. If Yuvraj is in XI we need him to repeat the S/R vs. Pakistan. If not let Jadhav or Pandya bat at #4 & Dhoni #5. Inclusion of Shami brings a good wkt. taker in the side to support Kumar. Ashwin bring in economy in bowling + some lower order batting. A good Xi is Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli, Dhoni, Jadhav ,Yuvraj/Pandya, Jadeja/Umesh, Ashwin, Kumar, Shami, Bumrah. This provides at least 5 bowlers + 4all rounders. Only the openers need to step up their S/R once they are set. If Dhoni bats #4, then he needs to be on offensive with at least 100S/R at the start building up to 200 S/R. The wickets being batting ones, a par score is 360- NOT 320. With strong bowling, it is possible to win even with 330 total. But openers need to really step up & play for the Team, not individual scores!

  •   devulapalliC on June 10, 2017, 13:08 GMT

    #CT17 Indian team for SA: #1 Rohit #2 Dhawan #3 Kohli #4 Dinesh Karthik #5 Yuvraj #6Dhoni #7 Ashwin #8 Pandya #9 Bhuvi #10 Shami #11 Umesh 12th man Jadeja

  • Dileep on June 10, 2017, 12:12 GMT

    'India messed up with the ball and the bat' to make Sri Lanka's job easier - not really, Sri Lanka just outplayed India. In fact Sri Lanka made India's job easier by gifting them 3 dismissals, 2 run outs and 1 retired hurt and still India weren't able to get back into the contest. Stroke making of Gunathilaka and Mathews in particular was outstanding

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