India’s stand-in captain Rohit Sharma remains confident about the team bouncing back from their loss against Sri Lanka in the opening game of the Nidahas Twenty20 Tri-Series cricket tournament on Tuesday.

The Men in Blue are featuring a relatively inexperienced team with a number of regular players rested at the ongoing Tri-Series that also involves Bangladesh, and it showed as they were unable to defend what was a ‘par score’ of 175 in the opening game.

Regular skipper Virat Kohli along with former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been rested for the tournament owing to the hectic schedule later in the year.  India have also opted to rest regular limited overs bowlers Bhuvaneswar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and all-rounder Hardik Pandya.  

Shikhar Dhawan top scored for India with 90 while Manish Pandey and Rishabh Pant made valuable contributions — 37 and 23 respectively — lower down the order. The Sharma-led team posted 175 on the board, but the inexperienced bowling lineup was unable to defend the total with Sri Lanka getting to the target with nine balls to spare. 

Rohit Sharma Rohit Sharma is the stand-in captain in the absence of Virat Kohli for the Nidahas Tri-Series Photo: Getty

Kusal Pereira was their top scorer with a rapid 66 off 37 balls while Thisara Pereira was the only other batsman to cross the 20-run mark. The latter ensured they finished without any jitters with a quick-fire 22 in 10 balls.

Sharma refused to blame the defeat on the inexperienced bowling line up – Vijay Shankar, Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur had played a combined six T20 Internationals between them including Tuesday’s game. The captain believes the batting could have offered a bit more especially in the final overs despite calling India’s total par for the wicket.

"A lot of credit must go to Sri Lanka, to their whole batting group. I'm sure we will learn from our mistakes," Rohit said after the loss, as quoted by the Times of India. "I think it was a par score, definitely something we could have defended. We could have accelerated a bit more towards the end. It was a decent wicket," he said.

"We all know on a wicket like that you need your batting as strong as possible. Our squad is well equipped with plenty of all-rounders and that offers the balance to the side.

"I felt we've got enough experience in our bowling line-up. They are very much new into the scene, they have had enough experience having been in these situations before,” the stand-in skipper added.

India will play Bangladesh in their next match on Thursday and take on Sri Lanka again on 12 March with two among the three teams progressing to the final on 18 March.