In a rain-affected match at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma‘s scintillating batting propelled India to a resounding win.
Opting to bowl first, India let Nepal off the hook with three dropped catches, after which the Nepalese team posted 230 in 48.1 overs in their first-ever match against India.India then chased down the revised target of 145 with ease to progress to the ‘Super 4’ stage of the tournament.
“The wicket today was good, better than the last one during Pakistan. We could have been more disciplined. The three dropped catches helped them. They batted well…Glad nothing major happened (because of the dropped catches). It was good to see how we responded to it (the target),” said Rathour in the post-match press conference.
On the upcoming clash against Pakistan during the ‘Super 4’ stage, Rathour said that the team will try to do better.
“We will try to play better and start better. Situations, conditions and bowling are different sometimes. Wickets do fall, but we recovered well to make 260 (in the rain-abandoned group match against Pakistan),” said the batting coach.
When asked about Pakistan’s formidable pace bowling trio featuring Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah, and the prevailing belief among the public that India struggles against it, Rathour commented that while Pakistan undeniably possesses a strong bowling attack, Indian batsmen are equally adept at providing strong performances.
“Pakistan has a good bowling attack. The new ball was doing well and the wicket offered help (in the group match). The rain broke the rhythm. All factors were there. It is not like we can’t play them. Our batters are also capable of playing (well) and getting a big start,” said the coach.
Regarding the selection dilemma between wicketkeeper-batsmen Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul for the upcoming match, Rathour expressed that having to decide between these two in-form players is a positive predicament to face.
“Ishan played really well. He has been doing really good. But KL has also done well for two years. It is a good problem to have. Team management will take the final decision,” said Rathour.
On playing different combinations, he added, “We have 15 players in the squad to test different combinations against different teams in different conditions. Shardul (Thakur) gives us batting depth…If we want to go all out with our fast bowlers, we have that as an option option. We have the option to play one more spinner as well as we have Axar Patel. It is good to have these options.”
(With agency inputs)