Virat Kohli conceded that India didn’t play “smart cricket” after it came second best to Sri Lanka, here on Friday.
“I think that (missed chances) hurt us. We didn’t play as smartly as we had done against Bangladesh. We could have scored 25-30 runs more if we had played more responsibly. There were also a few decisions that went against us.”
The Indian captain said the turning point was the dismissals, in quick succession, of Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, and K. Dinesh Karthik.
“That really hurt us because we were in a position to get to 300. And while fielding, even in the last ball, if we had taken that catch we could have probably got [Lasith] Malinga out.”
Kohli, backing the misfiring Rohit Sharma, didn’t feel the need for the latter to drop down the order. “Rohit is very comfortable opening the innings. We need to have faith in him because he has done really well and stepped up when we didn’t have any opening options.”
The 25-year-old also said he expected the middle-order to bat around him and learn quickly from their mistakes. “They are very intelligent and capable cricketers. That’s why they are playing for India.”
Earlier, Angelo Mathews credited his team for doing the little things right. “We’ve been winning those close games, but we need to play better cricket against stronger teams. Today I think we could have won easier than we did.”
The Sri Lanka captain also hailed ‘champion’ Kumar Sangakkara’s knock. “It was a treat to watch him bat and it was one of the best innings I have seen in the recent past.” Mathews pointed out to the slow wicket as the reason behind playing three spinners. “We have the batting depth so it doesn’t matter if we are batting first or chasing.”