‘ICC Champions Trophy begins now for Group B, India will be under high pressure’
Indian bowlers did not raise their game against Sri Lanka in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match, writes Harbhajan Singh. Virat Kohli and Co should pull up their socks against South Africa, he adds.icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 10, 2017 16:37 IST
Credit must be given to Sri Lanka for raising their game and playing so well against India. This was a great way for them to bounce back after their 96-run loss against South Africa in their opening game. They didn’t even have experienced opener Upul Tharanga, their captain for the first game, for the match against us but still they outplayed us.
I felt we did a great job by posting 321 on the board though. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan once again gave us a steady start, putting up a partnership of 138 for the first wicket. Dhawan and MS Dhoni did speed things up towards the end overs, which made for an excellent score to defend.
I felt our bowling department didn’t raise its game enough. We needed to get wickets at regular intervals to put pressure on Sri Lanka. The inability to do that on Thursday was why the game was lost.
You must give credit to Sri Lanka, though. Not once did it seem that the total would intimidate them. They remained positive throughout their run-chase, and when you have partnerships of 159 runs and 75 runs, you know your batters have responded in a very sensible way.
I had said at the start of the game that Angelo Mathews will be the danger man for us. He didn’t disappoint one bit, putting up a splendid performance.
This is where we go back to the drawing board and I hope we get things back on track against South Africa for Sunday.
The tournament begins now for all the four teams in this group.
I feel this can bring out the best in us. We know where we stand, what the situation is and what needs to be done. Treat Sunday’s match like a knockout.
Nothing less. It’s a big game, one where the pressure will be high. Beat South Africa and then we can think about the semifinals.