Former Indian batter Sunil Gavaskar believes that the Men in Blue posted a below-par score in the first ODI against Bangladesh on Sunday, December 4, leading to a slender one-wicket loss.
A slew of senior members returned to the ODI squad after being rested for the tour of New Zealand last month.
The visitors, after being put in to bat first by stand-in Bangladesh skipper Litton Das, struggled on a sluggish surface at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium and could only post 186 runs on the board.
India failed to play out the entire 50 overs after being bowled out with over eight overs to spare.
Wicket-keeper batter KL Rahul emerged as the lone ranger in the Indian batting unit. He scored a well-compiled 73 off 70 deliveries, but could not hang around with the tail to stretch the total.
Opining that Team India's dismal batting showing was the primary reason behind their loss, Gavaskar told Sony Sports Network:
“I think India didn’t score 70-80 more runs is the reason why they lost."
“When you are asked to chase less than 4 runs an over. Like Bangladesh were asked to chase, automatically, the pressure comes down. Bangladesh made it difficult for themselves by playing ultra cautiously. That’s what got them into trouble."
Team India skipper Rohit Sharma also admitted during the post-match presentation that the team posted a below-par total to defend under the lights.
This marks the Men in Blue's third ODI loss against the Tigers in Bangladesh in their last four games. The visitors were on the receiving end of a 2-1 series loss during their last tour of the neighboring country in 2015.
"They took the attack to the opposition and played some bold shots" - Sunil Gavaskar on Bangladesh
The relatively inexperienced Indian bowling attack, which included debutant Kuldeep Sen, kept the visitors in the game by claiming wickets at regular intervals.
However, it was the fielding that arguably led the team down when it mattered. All-rounder Washington Sundar had a forgettable outing on the field, while Rahul dropping a catch at a crucial stage proved costly.
Noting that Rahul's missed attempt to dismiss Mehidy Miraz Hasan and seal the game was not something that decided the match, Gavaskar said:
“You can’t really say that was it. Because yes, I think that was the last wicket. That should have made the match over. But the fact that India scored 186, I think you gonna look at that as well."
“The bowlers did wonderfully well, to get themselves in a position where they were 136-9. And then Hasan Miraj came, they had a bit of luck with that drop catch, but he played really well. He played sensibly. They took the attack to the opposition and played some bold shots."
India had Bangladesh on the ropes with a flurry of wickets that reduced them to 136-9. The hosts, on the back of a stunning knock under pressure from Mehidy, were able to cross the line with their highest partnership for the 10th wicket.
The Men in Blue will lock horns with Bangladesh in the second ODI of the series at the same venue on Wednesday, December 7.
Will Team India be able to muster a comeback to avoid successive ODI series defeats in Bangladesh?