After India defeated West Indies by 125 runs in the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, Men in Blue's opening batsman KL Rahul said each World Cup match has its own pressure and opined that sometimes batsman needs to play cautiously looking at the wicket.
"In a World Cup, each game has its own pressure. As a batsman, you cannot go out thinking that every ball needs to be dispatched for boundaries. We don't mind taking that extra time on the wicket as we know we can make up in the latter overs," Rahul said at the post-match conference.
India were restricted to 268 runs for the loss of seven wickets by West Indies. Rahul opined that the Manchester wicket was two-paced and the new batsmen found it difficult to rotate the strike as soon as they came out to bat.
"I think the pitch was similar to Southampton. Southampton was overall slower, but here it was two-paced. I think that's why it was harder for the new batsmen to score runs. The batsman who was set found it easy to rotate the strike. On wickets like these, scores of 260-270 are enough," Rahul said.
"After the first ten overs, Virat and I assessed the situation. We sent the message to the dressing room that it is not a 300-run wicket. We managed to get 260 runs on the board," he added.
Rahul who started the tournament as a middle-order batsman was promoted to open the batting as regular opener Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the tournament due to a hairline fracture on his thumb. The right-handed batsman Rahul said he finds opening the batting easier as he has done that during most of his career.
He even said it's disappointing for him not to convert his starts into big scores, but he said that he will learn from his mistakes.
"At this level, you need to be ready for anything. Playing for your country requires you to have an open mindset. Last two-three years I have been preparing for dealing with each type of situation. Opening the batting is a little easier for me as I have done that for most of my career," Rahul said.
"Bit disappointing to not score big. I will sit and assess it, but I am not worrying about it too much. I need to learn from my mistakes and hope to carry on in the upcoming matches," he added.
Rahul lauded skipper Virat Kohli and said the player has always been consistent. The opener also refused to criticise middle-order batsman and said every time teams cannot score 300 runs.
"I do not think Virat is doing something different. He has the same regime and he has been consistent throughout. He finds the way to put bowlers under pressure. He has been batting well wherever you see him. He keeps showcasing consistent performances and it is important for us to learn from him," Rahul said.
"We cannot always go on and think it's a 300-run wicket. You have to look at the positive side of it, no one scored a century for us today still we managed to score 268 runs. We have played dot balls, but still we managed to score 268, sometimes you need to take time and assess the wicket," he added.
Defending 268, Indian bowlers were exceptional as they bundled out West Indies for just 143. Mohammad Shami was the leading wicket-taker as he scalped four wickets for Men in Blue.
India will next take on England and the latter faces a must-win situation after losing its match to Australia. Pakistan after winning the match against New Zealand has created pressure on England and if England fails to win the match against India, their place in the semi-finals would be in jeopardy.
"If we play the best cricket, we will end up on the winning side. Big game against England, hopefully, we will be able to come up on the right side of the result," Rahul said.
India takes on England on June 30.