India captain Rohit Sharma is confident his side is 90 per cent settled as it prepares for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, despite the team having lost both its Asia Cup Super Four games — to Pakistan and Sri Lanka — so far, and are virtually out of the competition barring a miracle.
India lost another thrilling match to Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday evening with Dasun Shanaka’s side defeating them by six wickets with just one ball remaining, thus making Sharma’s side’s qualification for the Asia Cup final, and possibly a dream title clash against Pakistan, next to impossible.
“We are 90 per cent settled; only a few changes will happen,” said Sharma in the post-match press conference.
“We don’t have any shortcomings. There is quality in the team. There is more pressure in multi-nation series as compared to bilateral series. We have discussed this. it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get past the group stages of the T20 World Cup (in the UAE 2021) and now we lost two matches in the Asia Cup Super Four,” Sharma stated about the setup of his side heading into the showpiece event in Australia.
“We are not worried after losing two matches back to back. We have won so many matches after the 2021 T20 World Cup,” he added.
India failed to get off to a good start in the powerplay with the bat, losing both KL Rahul and Virat Kohli early. Batting during the tournament has been an area of concern, with the team failing to get off to good starts, while also being unable to close out the end of the innings.
On India’s batting, Sharma was quoted as saying by ICC, “We didn’t score as many runs as we wanted to in the first six overs because we lost wickets. We should have capitalised better from the momentum we got after that.
“We couldn’t close the game properly with the bat. We had spoken about this in the team meeting… about how nicely we have dealt with in close matches. These things happen. We were 10 or 12 runs short but we still had a good score.”
Sharma also addressed Dinesh Karthik’s exclusion from the squad, claiming him missing out from the XI was down to the balance in the middle order. Karthik has done well in his role as the finisher recently, and his exclusion has come as a surprise to many. Rishabh Pant has been backed over the veteran but has failed to dazzle so far, only scoring 31 runs in three matches.
On picking Rishabh Pant over finisher Dinesh Karthik, Rohit said, “Very simple, we just wanted a left-hander to bat in the middle, that’s why (he) is out. He is not out because of any form or anything, we wanted a left-hander to bat in the middle and take the pressure off of some of our batsmen who are batting with that left-hander.”