‘It is unfortunate’: Rohit on advantage of batting second in Asia Cup

Photo: AFP

There was a certain exhaustion to Rohit Sharma's face as he came in for the press conference yesterday after his side's second successive defeat in the 2022 Asia Cup, leave them almost out of the tournament.

His first reply to a question asked about falling short of the required total was 'what do you think?'.

The India captain however recollected his thoughts and went about answering his questions. With a pretty big presence of Indian media in the press conference, opportunity to ask the Indian skipper, especially after a disappointing loss, are hard to come by. This reporter raised his hand quite a few times to attract the attention of the India team's media manager but with no avail.

As the press conference came to an end, with the media manager saying 'thank you' to signal the end, a few foreign reporters still went about asking their questions. The media manager seemed exasperated but finally allowed one, only to find more were on the way. A slightly bemused Rohit saw the funny side of it and responded to a Pakistani journalist, who had asked if India Pakistan final not happening was disappointing by saying: "It will happen, don't worry. It will happen."

Once the press conference was truly over, a few approached for pictures as the India captain was heading out. Having not been able to ask a question, this journalist waited at the exit door of the press conference room. When Rohit was on his way out, this reporter asked: "Hello, did the toss work against you since almost all the results go in favour of sides batting second?"

Rohit took a moment to ponder the question, squinting his eyes to think before replying to The Daily Star: "Yeah, a little bit."

This reporter saw an opportunity to ask one more question. "Do you think it's unfortunate how things turn out like that in this tournament?"

Rohit contemplated before replying 'yes, it is a bit unfortunate being in that position since batting becomes easier in the evening due to the dew factor.' An air of disappointment was apparent, one he had almost concealed during the press conference. Given the slightly slower nature of the pitches, the ball comes much faster onto the bat in the evening which makes for better timing.

This reporter said thank you to the India skipper as he nodded and made his way back to the dressing room. The India skipper had earlier said during the toss that he would have bowled first as well. The press event saw many questions but most pertinent was whether India fail in big multi-nation events. Questions would be asked of the team but would the toss and batting second come under question.

Has the Asia Cup 2022 results been heavily dependent on which team bats second? The stats weigh in heavily.

Bar the two Hong Kong games where they lost to India and Pakistan despite batting second, all the other results went in favour of the side batting second. Most teams also wanted to bat second in the 6 PM start times at Sharjah and Dubai. Bangladesh went against the grain, opting to bat first after winning the toss against Afghanistan in the group stage. It did not work in their favour and it was the only instance of a side picking batting first in the tournament.


The results so far in the Asia Cup

Afg beat SL – Afg won toss and elected to field

Ind beat Pak – Ind won toss and elected to field

Afg beat Bangladesh – Ban won toss and elected to bat

Ind beat Hong Kong – Hong Kong won the toss and elected to field first

SL beat Ban – SL won toss and elected to field

Pak beat Hong Kong- Hong Kong won toss and elected to field

SL beat Afghanistan – SL won the toss and elected to field

Pak beat Ind – Pak won the toss and elected to field

SL beat Ind – SL won the toss elected to field


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