LONDON (Reuters) - India captain Virat Kohli said his team were not invincible after the defending champions allowed Sri Lanka to chase down a target of 322 to win a pulsating Champions Trophy match at The Oval on Thursday.
India, inspired by Shikhar Dhawan’s superb 125, racked up a healthy total of 321 for six but Sri Lanka knocked off the runs with eight balls left to leave Group B wide open.
All four teams in the section have two points going into the last round of games in which India play top-ranked South Africa on Sunday and Sri Lanka meet Pakistan on Monday.
“I think Sri Lanka played really well,” Kohli told a news conference following his team’s seven-wicket loss.
“The other teams are also champions and that needs to be kept in mind. We are not invincible.”
India had beaten Sri Lanka in 14 of their last 17 one-day internationals, including the last five.
India’s bowlers struggled to contain the Sri Lankan batsmen, however, as Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis shared a second-wicket partnership of 159 before captain Angelo Mathews steered his team home with a composed unbeaten 52.
“We all felt we had enough on the board at the halfway mark,” Kohli said.
“We trusted our bowlers, but they (Sri Lanka) were pretty good on the day. Kept their momentum going and executed their shots really well. Our bowlers bowled decently, but they batted really well.”
Kohli blamed poor execution as India’s bowlers took only one wicket, the other two Sri Lankan wickets coming from run-outs as they achieved the highest successful run chase in the tournament’s history.
“There is always hindsight when you don’t win games. As I said we bowled decently well, but the execution wasn’t quite there,” added Kohli, who was out for a duck to complete a bad day for one of the world’s leading batsmen.
“Obviously, there is food for thought but you have got to give credit to other teams as well. You don’t take any team lightly. It’s going to be like this throughout the tournament and we don’t expect anything less.”
Editing by Ken Ferris