Following India’s 34-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the first ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground, vice-captain Rohit Sharma said that it’s time for the batsmen to execute their plans out there in the middle rather than learning things from the failures.
Despite Rohit’s 22nd ODI ton, India lost the match to go down 0-1 in the three-match series. Chasing 289 to win, India were reeling at 4 for 3 before Rohit and Dhoni put on a 141-run partnership to bring the visitors back in the contest. While Sharma scored 133 off 129 balls (10 fours and 6 sixes), Dhoni made 51 off 96 balls. But India, in the end, managed only 254 for 9 in their 50 overs.
"The wicket was still playing good and we knew we could put some of their bowlers under pressure. But unfortunately, we kept losing wickets at the wrong time.. the first three wickets (for 4 runs) and then when we were going strong and building a partnership, unfortunately MS got out,” Rohit Sharma said at the post-match press conference.
"Obviously, we knew it was going to be a hard task when we lost three wickets and we had to build partnerships.. We were way behind the asking run rate while we were recovering from the early damage but again, these things happen. These are the games that will teach you a lot as batsmen. You will be put under pressure and there will be times when you have to combat this kind of games where you lose wickets and what you do after that.
"So I think it was a good learning but again, I think we have said that enough about learning now.. it's time to go out there and execute. Take the pressure, absorb the pressure and take it forward. International cricket is all about absorbing pressure and today was the perfect example when there was pressure and we were not able to absorb pressure," he further added.
Earlier, Australia rode on Peter Handscomb’s 73, Usman Khawaja’s 59 and Shaun Marsh’s 54 to notch up 288/5 in their stipulated 50 overs. Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the bowler for India, taking 2 for 54 in his 10 overs.
India opted to go with Ravindra Jadeja as a specialist all-rounder in Hardik Pandya's absence and Rohit had a word of encouragement for the former.
"We believe in Jadeja to play those cameos whenever required. To go out and play shots immediately is not easy for any batsman,” Sharma said.
He concluded by saying that the batting collapse is an eye-opener for the team ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019.
"Australian bowlers surprisingly got a lot of reverse swing.. It (the poor batting display) is not a concern but it's an eye-opener," Rohit signed-off.