Harare: Disappointed he might be with the stunning loss to Zimbabwe in the tour-ending second Twenty20 International but India's stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane insisted that his side performed "pretty well" during the short limited-overs cricket series.
India lost by 10 runs in the second T20 yesterday to wrap up the tour with a tinge of disappointment after claiming the ODI series 3-0.
Ajinkya Rahane and co. Pic/ AFP
"(All in all) guys played pretty well (on this tour). We got two hundreds - (Ambati) Rayudu and (Kedar) Jadhav - and Vijay and me got fifties. But still we have to improve as a batting unit. Guys have to lift their game here. There's always a good thing when there's healthy competition (for places] so we enjoy that. I'm sure this will get Indian cricket better day by day," Rahane told reporters in the post-match press conference.
"We are disappointed with this loss but you have to appreciate our boys as well. They have played some good cricket throughout the tour. In a T20 anything can happen," he added. Talking about yesterday's match, Rahane said the home team deserves credit for coming good after showing spark all through.
"We have to give credit to Zimbabwe because I feel they played really well today. Throughout the series they played well. But today their bowling and fielding were really up to the mark. Their energy was pretty good, but I felt their spinners bowled in the right areas. They got two good run-outs and they took a couple of good catches," he said.
"Zimbabwe took wickets continuously and fielded well also. You have to give credit to them. Their batting was good but their bowling and fielding was exceptional." Reflecting on the Indian team's performance, the stand-in skipper said batsmen let the side down yesterday. "We couldn't build that one partnership to get us through. We were quite comfortable chasing - we needed a run a ball after six overs. We accept that we didn't bat well," he conceded.
"Overall I'm happy with the type of cricket we played, but disappointed with the loss. We lost three or four wickets continuously so the pressure really built on us. I thought the bowlers did pretty well, and 145 was chaseable."
Rahane said he was most disappointed with himself for getting out early in the match. "I don't want to talk about that, but I'm disappointed. Maybe at the start of your innings no team wants your opener to get run out because momentum shifts to the opposition. But having said that we got a good partnership with Robin and Vijay and then lost wickets. I'm disappointed I got run out but more disappointed we lost," he said.
Rahane defended the decision to rest senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and replace him with young batsman Sanju Samson in yesterday's match. "He's an experienced bowler and we all know that he's a match winner for us, but we wanted to give Sanju an opportunity here," Rahane explained.
"Bhajju bhai did pretty well for us and is an experienced bowler, but Sanju has done pretty well back home in the IPL and in the domestic season, so we wanted to give an opportunity."