Early wickets cost us: Sehwag
Ahmedabad, Dec 6: Rohit Sharma’s superb innings of 95 was not enough to prevent India from losing the third ODI against the West Indies by 16 runs. After Sharma’s departure in India’s chase, Abhimanyu Mithun [23 off 16] and Umesh Yadav kept India’s hopes alive with a brave counterattack but could not get the team across the finish line.
In the post-match press conference, Indian captain Virender Sehwag reflected on the loss while hailing Rohit Sharma for another brilliant effort with the bat.
On the loss and what went wrong
The total was okay to chase but we lost a couple of early wickets; Gautam [Gambhir] and I getting out back to back [as a big blow]. After that we didn’t have a good partnership [from the] top-order. That’s what I think [went wrong]. If you lose early wickets it’s difficult to chase whatever [the] target. We have to look at ourselves, especially the top-order, we have to click, we have to fire and we have to give a good start to the team so that we can chase any target [or] set a target for West Indies in the coming games.
On whether the expensive last five overs that India bowled made the difference
No, they have big-hitters and we were expecting them to fire at some stage in this series and they came out in [the] third game and batted really well. Our bowlers tried everything; they bowled [the] slower [delivery], back-of-length [delivery], good-length [delivery], [the] yorker. They tried everything but [WI] batted really well [and] connected everything and went for fours and sixes.
On the failure of the top-order and the lower-order’s success
Do we send the tail-enders up the order? That is not possible. It is the job of the top-order to score runs and give good starts and we are trying to do the same. It has been three matches. We have to concentrate on our batting and hopefully in future matches we can score runs.
On the crowd coming in to watch Virender Sehwag’s batting
I think they had come to watch and support Team India and hoped that India would win. We have been playing good cricket for some time now but didn’t play that well today and couldn’t win so we regret that. We are aware of how much our fans love us and we hope to put up a better display in the forthcoming matches and not let our fans down.
On Rohit Sharma
[…] He has performed really well in the last three games. He is the only one who is performing consistently. He is batting well. He is making full use of his form to score lots of runs in this series and I hope that in the coming games he will continue with his form. It is difficult to bat with tail-enders but Rohit knows what to do and when to take chances and when to rotate the strike. Rohit and [Ravichandran] Ashwin had a very good partnership. After that, the last-wicket [pair of] [Abhimanyu Mithun] and [Umesh] Yadav played some good shots so we thought maybe we could win the game, but unfortunately we lost. Rohit, I think, is one of the [most] talented batsmen I have seen. He has a very good future in [the] Indian [team].
On Suresh Raina’s lack of form with the bat
[…] You will not score runs [all the time] but he is working hard [and] practicing hard. It is just a matter of one innings and the moment the innings comes, he can start scoring runs again. It’s not only Raina; Parthiv [Patel], Gautam [Gambhir], myself and Raina are not scoring runs. It’s only Rohit and Virat Kohli who are scoring runs so we have to look at ourselves in the coming games, back ourselves and go and perform for Team India.
On the inclusion of Abhimanyu Mithun in place of Varun Aaron
We love to give a chance to [different] players and Varun Aaron has some niggle in his toe […] We don’t want to take any chances and it’s good for Team India that other players also get a chance. Mithun bowled well in the first six overs [but had a bad] last over. I think he is a good fast bowler so he should play more games and learn how to bowl in the subcontinent.