Sri Lanka v India, 3rd ODI, Colombo July 27, 2012

Second ODI loss 'a wake-up call' for India

16

Gautam Gambhir has said that the India batsmen got complacent after making 314 in the first ODI against Sri Lanka and has termed the big loss in the second game a "wake-up call" early in the season. He has, however, pointed out that some of the India players could be rusty as they are coming out of a near-two-month break while Sri Lanka have just won a tough series against Pakistan.

"Sometimes what happens is when you have made 300-plus runs and you are coming after a break and end up winning the first game, you can take things for granted thinking that we have got 300, so we can again turn up and get 300," Gambhir said. "It is a good wake-up call for us that we can't.

"Our energy levels were not up for it. All of us were thinking, we managed 300, we have won the toss again, we are batting first in those flat conditions, [so] we can again turn up and get 300-plus and try and restrict Sri Lanka but then that is not the way you go into a game. You have to go into the game thinking [that] Sri Lanka will come hard at you and [it is a] new wicket, new conditions, new start.

"We can't take Sri Lanka lightly at any stage. They are a very good side especially in their own backyard so it is important that we got to be ready for this challenge tomorrow and whatever they throw at us we should be able to give it back to them."

MS Dhoni had said earlier that India rely a lot on the starts provided by the top three batsmen - Virender Sehwag, Gambhir and Virat Kohli in this series. Sehwag and Kohli fell early in the second game, and before the batsmen could assess the pitch, according to Dhoni, India were 60 for 5. Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka vice-captain, said his side would target the India top order again tomorrow.

"When it comes to the top order, they make a huge difference," Mathews said. "If we can get a few wickets early on, we can put pressure on the middle order batsmen. In the first two games they didn't have the time to get set and score."

The first two matches were in Hambantota, where it was so windy that Sehwag said batsmen were being thrown off their stance. Up north-west in Colombo, the conditions have changed to hot and humid; the humidity, especially, can be very tiring. Gambhir, however, said that India shouldn't bother too much about the conditions.

"Breeze was playing a huge role in Hambantota. At times it was difficult to play on one side of the wicket especially against the breeze because it was so strong," Gambhir said. "We all know that the Premadasa is a flat track and there are great opportunities of making big scores. It is pretty humid so we need to get adjusted to it as soon as possible.

"We should be raring to go rather than thinking what are the conditions and how are the conditions. As a professional cricketer you need to get used to these conditions as soon as possible and try and get the results in your favour."

The Premadasa pitch, before being relaid for the 2011 World Cup, used to heavily favour the side batting first as the ball would move around in the evening. While Gambhir felt it would still do a bit under lights, Mathews said that the pitch doesn't change much now for the chasing side and referred to Sri Lanka's successful chase last month against Pakistan at the same ground.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fast_Track_Bully on July 30, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    Hope SL fans got answers...chill guys...:P

  • on July 28, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    If you are playing bad after playing 2-3 series, then you are excused to having played too much cricket and tiredness...on the other way, if you are well rested for over 2 months and come afresh and play bad, then you excuse to be rusty..People find excuses and express it shamelessly! What do conditioning/acclimatization camps and prior match practices mean if you are unable to recall your cricket after 2 months of break! This is too uncalled for statement from a player who has played over 200 international matches.

  • LeoE on July 28, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Sri lanka lost Nuwan Kulasekera and Lasith malinga was way off target all day long during the second ODI. What would India have scored if these two were firing on all cylinders ? For World Cup holders to make such excuses as " Rusty , wake up calls, " etc is nothing short of being pathetic. Gambhir, the whole of the cricketing world knows that Sri Lanka was the better team at the world cup. India won in an extremely mysterious manner, when SL put up 270 plus and had India reeling, only to give up the match mid way. This series will decide who the real world champ is. After you lose, Gambhir, please don't speak about the Rust.

  • on July 28, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    just like his captain, finding excuses is Gambhir. what an ego!

  • AneYako on July 28, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    I'm sorry but did the Indian team arrive in sri lanka after spending time in Iceland? What is this humidity nonsense? Man do these players complain about everything or what. The pitch, wind, heat, humidity, opponents home turf, too much rest vs an exhausted team. What's next? The timber the bats are made out off are not good enough? Blaming the dance floor for being a bad dancer is not a good way to handle things.

  • Dishanstc on July 28, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Gambhir was man enough to tell the truth unlike Dhoni and I'm tired of being called the team that does well on their own back yard, the same could be told about India as well, they lost big time in England a year ago and to Australia, Indian batsmen find the most difficult to find their way through swing and seam, Premadasa Curator, green pitch it is.

  • loks07 on July 28, 2012, 3:09 GMT

    @Lanka_best: And what exactly was the excuse?

  • S.N.Singh on July 28, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    JAYAWARDENE COMPLAINED ABOUT THE WIND IN THE FIRST MATCH. ON THE VERY GROUND ON THE SECOND MATCH, THEY WON, HE DID NOT TALK ABOUT THE WIND. GAMBHIR NOW STARTED ABOUT BATTING EXPERIENCE ? I THINK THEY SHOULD LEAVE THE TALKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO DO. INDIA THE ONLY CHANGE INDIA SHOULD MAKE IS TO PLAY OJHA INSTED OF YADAV. ALSO YOU CAN USE RAINA AND SHARMA IF NEEDED LET PATHAN BAT AT # 3 IT A CHANCE WE HAVE TO TAKE. WE CAN HAVE A GOOD ODI GAME. LET US HAVE A GOOD GAME TOMORROW. S.N.SINGH, USA

  • lovepork on July 28, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    @lanka_best: It is still 1-1, will see who will be disatourous, so easily forgot the 6-1 results when Lanka came to India a coupleof years ago, also guess you still remember the results of world cup final? so chill out, will see who wins Ram or Ravana?

  • KingOwl on July 28, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    What a load of baloney. Before the series, the rest period was being touted as a huge advantage. Now, the rest period is referred to as a 'break', and has all of a sudden become a problem! And about being complacent on 'flat conditions': Well, Dhoni was talking about a lot more grass on the pitch before the second One day match - everyone knows that Indians shudder when they see any grass. So, what is this double talk, ha?

  • Fast_Track_Bully on July 30, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    Hope SL fans got answers...chill guys...:P

  • on July 28, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    If you are playing bad after playing 2-3 series, then you are excused to having played too much cricket and tiredness...on the other way, if you are well rested for over 2 months and come afresh and play bad, then you excuse to be rusty..People find excuses and express it shamelessly! What do conditioning/acclimatization camps and prior match practices mean if you are unable to recall your cricket after 2 months of break! This is too uncalled for statement from a player who has played over 200 international matches.

  • LeoE on July 28, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Sri lanka lost Nuwan Kulasekera and Lasith malinga was way off target all day long during the second ODI. What would India have scored if these two were firing on all cylinders ? For World Cup holders to make such excuses as " Rusty , wake up calls, " etc is nothing short of being pathetic. Gambhir, the whole of the cricketing world knows that Sri Lanka was the better team at the world cup. India won in an extremely mysterious manner, when SL put up 270 plus and had India reeling, only to give up the match mid way. This series will decide who the real world champ is. After you lose, Gambhir, please don't speak about the Rust.

  • on July 28, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    just like his captain, finding excuses is Gambhir. what an ego!

  • AneYako on July 28, 2012, 4:14 GMT

    I'm sorry but did the Indian team arrive in sri lanka after spending time in Iceland? What is this humidity nonsense? Man do these players complain about everything or what. The pitch, wind, heat, humidity, opponents home turf, too much rest vs an exhausted team. What's next? The timber the bats are made out off are not good enough? Blaming the dance floor for being a bad dancer is not a good way to handle things.

  • Dishanstc on July 28, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    Gambhir was man enough to tell the truth unlike Dhoni and I'm tired of being called the team that does well on their own back yard, the same could be told about India as well, they lost big time in England a year ago and to Australia, Indian batsmen find the most difficult to find their way through swing and seam, Premadasa Curator, green pitch it is.

  • loks07 on July 28, 2012, 3:09 GMT

    @Lanka_best: And what exactly was the excuse?

  • S.N.Singh on July 28, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    JAYAWARDENE COMPLAINED ABOUT THE WIND IN THE FIRST MATCH. ON THE VERY GROUND ON THE SECOND MATCH, THEY WON, HE DID NOT TALK ABOUT THE WIND. GAMBHIR NOW STARTED ABOUT BATTING EXPERIENCE ? I THINK THEY SHOULD LEAVE THE TALKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO DO. INDIA THE ONLY CHANGE INDIA SHOULD MAKE IS TO PLAY OJHA INSTED OF YADAV. ALSO YOU CAN USE RAINA AND SHARMA IF NEEDED LET PATHAN BAT AT # 3 IT A CHANCE WE HAVE TO TAKE. WE CAN HAVE A GOOD ODI GAME. LET US HAVE A GOOD GAME TOMORROW. S.N.SINGH, USA

  • lovepork on July 28, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    @lanka_best: It is still 1-1, will see who will be disatourous, so easily forgot the 6-1 results when Lanka came to India a coupleof years ago, also guess you still remember the results of world cup final? so chill out, will see who wins Ram or Ravana?

  • KingOwl on July 28, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    What a load of baloney. Before the series, the rest period was being touted as a huge advantage. Now, the rest period is referred to as a 'break', and has all of a sudden become a problem! And about being complacent on 'flat conditions': Well, Dhoni was talking about a lot more grass on the pitch before the second One day match - everyone knows that Indians shudder when they see any grass. So, what is this double talk, ha?

  • ca2ca on July 27, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Gambhir talking about humadity, high temparature. Guy must be coming from Eng or NZ. About the 2nd ODI loss. Its not the pitch its Indian players took SL for granted. Those are uncontrolled rash shots that led to a comical defeat. We will see what MSD says if Ind. loose this match.

  • Nampally on July 27, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Gambhir is doing lot of talking. He better put his money where his mouth is!. Despite what Gambhir says, every Indian batsman must perform. The problem was: Indian batsmen trying to hit the ball before getting their "eye-in"- Learn to walk before you can run. If the top 4 fail, the bottom 4 must play responsibly & not throw away their wickets in wild chase of runs as they did in ODI #2. Anyone who stays at the crease will get runs. India did not follow this approach & got out in <40 overs.Typically the last 10 overs account for at least 80 runs, if India has wkt. in hand. Accurate bowling is key to winning. Ojha & Yadev needs to sharpen up or be replaced. Their bowling in both ODI's was sub-standard for a Major Cricket match. Dinda & Rahul must replace them.Train & play hard - Rustiness is no excuse for failure to execute. India had sufficient R & R. play as a team with intensity, swagger & will to win. Pitch or environmental conditions should not be used as excuses for failure.

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on July 27, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Complacent is one half of the story and 2nd half is the green top. We all know how vulnerable Team India is on the green surface and I'm sure Premadasa will also welcome Team India with Green. India takes time to adjust to GREEN because earlier we used to lose to Pakistan (Green) before started winning, Lost to Bangla(GREEN) in crucial encounters and now GREEN surface is haunting us AGAIN. Hopefully Team India fights back and shows the quality of their batting lineup. Looking forward to Zaheer and Co to take more responsibility in the bowling department and get early break through's. Only thing INDIA has gotten better with GREEN is the fielding as extra grass provides more cushion to throw themselves around. Hopefully Team India leaves behind GREEEN-o-phobia and plays to its true potential.

  • on July 27, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    Good Gambhir said truth in this interview

  • CoolCharlie on July 27, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    wow... its a wake up call!!! after loosing odi series in south africa and getting whitewash in aus and england u really think last odi defeat ws the wake up call? give me a break man!!!

  • Solace1 on July 27, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    so much for being world champion, Gambhir thinks he can escape our island by making these sort of excuses but sorry bro your poor form will continue and you will be one of the disaster stories for india in this trip!!

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  • Solace1 on July 27, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    so much for being world champion, Gambhir thinks he can escape our island by making these sort of excuses but sorry bro your poor form will continue and you will be one of the disaster stories for india in this trip!!

  • CoolCharlie on July 27, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    wow... its a wake up call!!! after loosing odi series in south africa and getting whitewash in aus and england u really think last odi defeat ws the wake up call? give me a break man!!!

  • on July 27, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    Good Gambhir said truth in this interview

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on July 27, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Complacent is one half of the story and 2nd half is the green top. We all know how vulnerable Team India is on the green surface and I'm sure Premadasa will also welcome Team India with Green. India takes time to adjust to GREEN because earlier we used to lose to Pakistan (Green) before started winning, Lost to Bangla(GREEN) in crucial encounters and now GREEN surface is haunting us AGAIN. Hopefully Team India fights back and shows the quality of their batting lineup. Looking forward to Zaheer and Co to take more responsibility in the bowling department and get early break through's. Only thing INDIA has gotten better with GREEN is the fielding as extra grass provides more cushion to throw themselves around. Hopefully Team India leaves behind GREEEN-o-phobia and plays to its true potential.

  • Nampally on July 27, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    Gambhir is doing lot of talking. He better put his money where his mouth is!. Despite what Gambhir says, every Indian batsman must perform. The problem was: Indian batsmen trying to hit the ball before getting their "eye-in"- Learn to walk before you can run. If the top 4 fail, the bottom 4 must play responsibly & not throw away their wickets in wild chase of runs as they did in ODI #2. Anyone who stays at the crease will get runs. India did not follow this approach & got out in <40 overs.Typically the last 10 overs account for at least 80 runs, if India has wkt. in hand. Accurate bowling is key to winning. Ojha & Yadev needs to sharpen up or be replaced. Their bowling in both ODI's was sub-standard for a Major Cricket match. Dinda & Rahul must replace them.Train & play hard - Rustiness is no excuse for failure to execute. India had sufficient R & R. play as a team with intensity, swagger & will to win. Pitch or environmental conditions should not be used as excuses for failure.

  • ca2ca on July 27, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Gambhir talking about humadity, high temparature. Guy must be coming from Eng or NZ. About the 2nd ODI loss. Its not the pitch its Indian players took SL for granted. Those are uncontrolled rash shots that led to a comical defeat. We will see what MSD says if Ind. loose this match.

  • KingOwl on July 28, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    What a load of baloney. Before the series, the rest period was being touted as a huge advantage. Now, the rest period is referred to as a 'break', and has all of a sudden become a problem! And about being complacent on 'flat conditions': Well, Dhoni was talking about a lot more grass on the pitch before the second One day match - everyone knows that Indians shudder when they see any grass. So, what is this double talk, ha?

  • lovepork on July 28, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    @lanka_best: It is still 1-1, will see who will be disatourous, so easily forgot the 6-1 results when Lanka came to India a coupleof years ago, also guess you still remember the results of world cup final? so chill out, will see who wins Ram or Ravana?

  • S.N.Singh on July 28, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    JAYAWARDENE COMPLAINED ABOUT THE WIND IN THE FIRST MATCH. ON THE VERY GROUND ON THE SECOND MATCH, THEY WON, HE DID NOT TALK ABOUT THE WIND. GAMBHIR NOW STARTED ABOUT BATTING EXPERIENCE ? I THINK THEY SHOULD LEAVE THE TALKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO DO. INDIA THE ONLY CHANGE INDIA SHOULD MAKE IS TO PLAY OJHA INSTED OF YADAV. ALSO YOU CAN USE RAINA AND SHARMA IF NEEDED LET PATHAN BAT AT # 3 IT A CHANCE WE HAVE TO TAKE. WE CAN HAVE A GOOD ODI GAME. LET US HAVE A GOOD GAME TOMORROW. S.N.SINGH, USA

  • loks07 on July 28, 2012, 3:09 GMT

    @Lanka_best: And what exactly was the excuse?