India's top order were exposed against a swinging ball up front with
Suranga Lakmal acting as destroyer-in-chief claiming 4 for 13 from his
The hosts slumped to 29 for 7 and were only spared a lowest ever ODI total by the stubbornness of MS Dhoni.
Speaking after their defeat, Rohit said: "Credit should go to the Sri
Lankan bowlers, they made full use of the conditions but, as a team, as a
batting unit, days like these will teach us a lot of things. We as a
team want to thrive in such conditions and come out on top.
"It was not the ideal day and hopefully boys can learn from it and
next time we are put in this situation we know how to tackle that and
come out of it."
Rohit credited the disciplined lines bowled by the Sri Lanka seamers
up front with keeping the pressure on India and resulting in wickets.
"We knew conditions were going to be tough but sometimes
when you are put in such situations, you have to bat to the situation,
which means we've got to respect the bowlers," he said.
"If you notice, any bowler who would have bowled in that channel would have got wickets.
"For us, we were trying to survive in those conditions because we
knew that if initial overs get over, the wicket will get better.
"But we lost wickets and we were also not scoring at pace, which put us in even more trouble.
"I don't think we played any rash shots, they bowled in the right
channel, kept us guessing all the time and batsmen were made to play all
"It is an eye-opener, we will learn from it. It is a young batting
group, the guys, including myself, will learn and play us out of these
situations well next time."
Rohit defended the decision to leave Ajinkya Rahane out of the
match day XI saying that they were committed to giving opportunities to
other players and were unwilling to bat the veteran down the order.
"I think we made it clear in Sri Lanka that he is an opening
batsman and we don't want to keep changing his batting slot. It plays
on anyone's mind not just his, if one's batting order keeps on changing," he said.
"We have identified him as a top-order batsman and that's the only
reason he has to sit out. Having said that we understand the runs he
scored in the past few series.
"We want to give these guys (Manish) Pandey, (Kedar) Jadhav, (Shreyas) Iyer fair amount of games before we start touring abroad. It's
important that they take the opportunity."
The second of three ODI between India and Sri Lanka will take place in Mohali on Wednesday, December 13.