Rohit backs India's bowling unit
India's bowlers lost the second warm-up Twenty20 from a strong position against Pakistan, but Rohit Sharma does not believe the side's attack is a concern ahead of the World Twenty20. Rohit pointed out that the same bowlers had defended a much lower total against Sri Lanka in the first warm-up match on Saturday.
"It was one of those bad days, I would say," Rohit said. "If you look at the last game against Sri Lanka, the bowlers got plenty of wickets. We defended a low score on that track, 145-odd runs. It was not a par score [for that track] yet the bowlers defended that. Yes, we had an off day today. I am sure we will come hard against Afghanistan and [do well] from there on."
Rohit and Virat Kohli had made fifties to lift India to 185 for 3, which Rohit felt was a decent score on the Premadasa pitch, but barring R Ashwin, who took 4 for 23, all the India bowlers were wicketless and expensive. "The track was very good to bat on. As you saw, more than 180 runs were scored in both the innings. It was a typical Sri Lankan wicket; if you bat well and apply yourself, you will get runs here. It was a good target I felt on this track, because I thought there was a little bit of help for the spinners. But it was one of those days where things didn't come together.
"We still have one more day before our actual game on 19th, so we will see how we should come back. It is not the end, it is just the start. Still a long way to go in the tournament, unfortunately things didn't go our way today."
Rohit said despite it being a warm-up game, India had come out wanting to win it. "We were very focussed. We were quite intense in the field. It's just that our bowling didn't click together, which is a little bit frustrating because if you want to win the game everything has to click together. Our bowlers did a pretty good job in the first warm-up game when we defended 145 on that flat track. I don't want to take any credit away from them. They have been bowling really well. I am sure they will come on well as the tournament progresses."
Batting is certainly India's strength, but the openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir haven't had a decent outing in both warm-up games. Rohit backed the experienced duo to come good. "Getting a good start is important. They have been batting really well, there is no doubt about that. I am sure that in the coming games, when the actual tournament starts, they will come good. They have experience playing in these conditions and it is just a matter of one game, and we are right in it after that."
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo