Sourav Ganguly not reading much into India's loss at Pune
Former captain Sourav Ganguly has played down India’s defeat against Sri Lanka in the first T20I played at Pune on Tuesday, India Today reports.
Describing the five-wicket loss against a young and inexperienced side from the island nation as a “one-off,” Ganguly said that MS Dhoni’s men were done in by the surprise factor after a green top was prepared, much to the disappointment of the home skipper.
Coming into the contest at the MCA stadium in Pune on the back of a 3-0 T20 series whitewash over Australia in their own backyard, India were expected to steamroll the Lankans which were missing several of their experienced players due to injury.
However, led by debutant fast bowler Kasun Rajitha, Sri Lanka upset the hosts to take a shock 1-0 lead ahead of the second match that will be played on Friday night at Ranchi.
India will come back and win the series: Ganguly
Describing his thoughts about India’s defeat at Pune, Ganguly said that India had an off day on the field that was largely contributed by the surprisingly seamer-friendly pitch that was prepared for the match. The batting legend also claimed that the hosts had it in them to shrug off the disappointment and to come back and win the remaining two matches to seal the series 2-1.
"The Indians were caught by surprise. They didn't expect such a green top in Pune. The Sri Lankans got help from the grassy turf," Ganguly told Sports Today.
"It's was just a one-off day. India will come back and probably win the series.”
Responding to questions about the failure of India’s much-acclaimed batting line-up to adapt to the pitch conditions, Ganguly conceded that India’s total of 101 was far from competitive, but added that even the away side would have struggled had they batted first on the day.
"Let's not look at it too much. The batsmen have been in splendid form. It's just a T20 game. It wasn't a great total.
“It's just five-runs-an-over. It's not a big deal. If India had chased, they would have won it," the 43-year-old said.
Asked if the defeat would have dented the confidence in the Indian camp, Ganguly replied in the negative and said that the host team’s preparation for the World T20 will go ahead undeterred.
"There is not going to be an inch of negativity in the Indian camp. I don't think the Pune defeat will affect India's preparation for the World T20," Ganguly said.