India lost to Sri Lanka by two wickets © AFP
India lost to Sri Lanka by two wickets © AFP


By Tapan Mohanta


Fatullah (Bangladesh): Feb 28, 2014


Indian skipper Virat Kohli said the toss proved to be “crucial” and added that his batsmen could have played “smarter cricket” as they went down to Sri Lanka by two wickets in their Asia Cup 2014 encounter on Friday.


Experienced Kumar Sangakkara showed the way with a breathtaking 84-ball 103 as Sri Lanka recovered from a middle-order batting collapse to pull off a thrilling two-wicket victory.


Chasing 265 for win after opting to bowl first, the islanders rode on the 36-year-old’s masterclass to complete the task with four balls to spare at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium.


“Toss was crucial in these sort of places. It’s just a matter of luck at the toss. If they were bowling and they had three spinners later on I don’t think they would have had the same chances. I would rather strengthen my batting. It did not pay off for us. We need to go back to drawing table and see what we can do from here,” Kohli said at the post-match presser.


India were cruising at one stage but wickets of Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan cost them dear as the inexperience middle-order, in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, failed to deliver.


“We could have played smarter cricket on the day. But if you see some decisions first two overs close lbws, plus we dropped a few chances. It’s part of cricket. But we should have taken our chances. Overall, we did not play smart cricket the way we did against Bangladesh. In batting also we could have made 20-25 runs more.”


Kohli defended his decision to play Stuart Binny even as as Sri Lankan’s inclusion of Ajantha Mendis (4/60) worked for them.


“The plan was to play that extra batsman with Stuart Binny and combine him with Rohit and Rayudu for the 10 overs.


But when you have dew in the end, you don’t have much that regular fast bowlers can do. The last 10 overs there was a lot of dew.”