We thought we had enough runs on the board, says Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli said he expected his bowlers to defend 321 but Sri Lanka batted exceptionally well to take the game away from the defending champions in the Champions Trophy on Thursday.

A dejected Virat Kohli leaves the ground after India’s defeat against Sri Lanka in London on Wednesday.   -  AP

 

Virat Kohli refused to blame his bowlers after India’s shock loss to Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy here on Thursday. “Sri Lanka played well. That fact is also present,” he said. “I think our bowlers also bowled decently well. If batsmen come out and play like that and everyone plays well, you have to give credit to the opposition as well. We’re not invincible. We’re playing against other sides who are also champion sides.”

The Indian skipper added: “As batsmen, we can't score every time. As bowlers, you can't literally bowl consistent line and length every game that you play. So some guys will have off days. On outfields like these and pitches like these, you will have sides who will bat well. In one-day cricket, no one is guaranteed a win, and you can play with five spinners, or you can play with five fast bowlers. You have to bowl well in any case.”

India scored only 80 runs between the end of overs 25 and 40 but Kohli felt India had enough on the board. “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.”

Sunday's clash against South Africa now becomes a virtual quarterfinal, and some changes are possible. “There will be a lot of things discussed, what went wrong and what combinations we can come out with in the next game,” Kohli said. “If you want to bring in a bit more balance into the bowling attack by changing it up a little bit, that will be up for discussion as well.”

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews hailed the efforts of his young batsmen. “Nobody gave us a chance. But we knew inside us that we had the ability to beat a strong team like India.”

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