Bangalore: Having lost to Rest of India in the Irani Trophy match, Rajasthan skipper Hrishikesh Kanitkar on Monday said that his batsmen failed to spend time in the middle and that proved to be costly for the team.
"Second innings we batted very well. We were in control, but due to three run outs and a few bad shots we folded early. It was just a matter of going on batting," he told reporters here.
The captain, however, denied that his team was tested by the ROI attack, but admitted that the rivals bowled well and his batsmen were up to it to a certain point only.
Kanitkar said that his batsmen failed to spend time in the middle and that proved to be costly for the team.
"I think we really batted well in the second innings and in the first innings the wicket was a little different. Robin (Bist) batted very well, but I don't think we were tested," he reiterated.
After Rajasthan got bundled out for 253 in their first innings, ROI made 607 for 7 declared. In the second innings, Rajasthan batsmen once again failed to get going and folded for a mere 275, losing the match by an innings and 79 runs.
Stating that the team fell short by 70-odd runs to make the opponents bat again, Kanitkar said, "What we were looking at was, may be get a lead of at least 100 runs and make them bat again."
Kanitkar said Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav bowled well on a wicket, which was a little slow and people might have thought that they were not quick.
"I don't think there was anything amiss," he said.
Asked whether Rajasthan missed the services of Rituraj and Pankaj Singh, Kanitkar replied in the negative, saying once the playing XI is announced these things are blocked out of one's mind.
"It was a good opportunity for players who got chance.Aniket Choudhary bowled very well. He showed he had something in him. It was a good game for us. We have found some good players," he said.
Kanitkar said his boys are happy at the way they faced ROI. "We should be building on it, not thinking of the result. ROI was definitely a very strong team. We should get positives out of it," he said.
On legspinner Harmeet Singh's second innings performance, Kanitkar said he has done well in U-19 World Cup, and if he kept working hard he might end up playing for the national team one day.
"He has to work hard on his game. Get the right kind of guidance and stuff like that. Who knows he keeps working hard and puts in the hours, then possible (he might get selected for India)," he said.
Kanitkar said it would be better if Irani Trophy is played at the end of the season because there would be a momentum for any team playing ROI.
"It would be good if Irani match is played soon after Ranji finals," he said.