Captain Rohit Sharma has backed his team's attacking approach despite the ODI series loss against Australia and promised that his side will continue to attack at all costs with the bat during the lead-up to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup later this year.
India's aggressive style while batting again proved their downfall as they fell to a 21-run loss to Australia in the third and final ODI in Chennai on Wednesday night, a result that ultimately cost Rohit's side the series and the No.1 ODI team ranking.
Australia have 113.286 rating points compared to the Men in Blue's 112.638. Before the start of the final ODI, India were on top with 114 rating points to Australia's 112.
There were a host of experienced performers that holed out during India's run chase at MA Chidambaram Stadium when a cautious approach may have been deemed more suitable, but Rohit wants his team to keep playing aggressively in 50-over cricket.
"We have always talked about fearless cricket. If someone feels they can take the bowlers on, we have given them complete freedom to do that," Rohit said after the loss. "While doing that, there is a big possibility that they might not be able to achieve what they want to achieve, which is fair, and fine by us. You will learn from that.
We will definitely not judge based on a couple of poor shots. All these guys have lots of potential, they can play these shots whenever they want and we want to keep encouraging them to go out there and do it often," he added.
One concerning aspect of India's display during the Australia series was the form of Suryakumar Yadav, with the dynamic right-hander claiming an unwanted record of being dismissed for three consecutive golden ducks.
It was Ashton Agar that took the prized wicket of Suryakumar on Wednesday, with the Australia spinner turning the momentum of the game towards his side with the scalps of Virat Kohli and then Suryakumar in the space of two balls.
"He only played three balls in three (games) this series, so I don't know how much to look into it. He got three good balls, to be honest. Today, it wasn't that good ball; he should have gone forward.
He knows best. He plays spin so well. We have seen that over the last couple of years," Rohit noted. "That's why we held him back and gave him that role for the last 15-20 overs where he can play his game, but it's really unfortunate he could only play three balls.
That can happen to anyone. But the potential and ability is always there. He is just going through that phase right now," he added. While reluctant to single out India players that underperformed during the series, Rohit instead praised Australia for their efforts of bouncing back after losing the opening match of the series.
"It's a collective failure and we can take a lot of learnings from this series. But credit to the Australians. Both the spinners applied the pressure, and so did their seamers," the Indian skipper said.
"You are born and brought up on these wickets. Sometimes you need to apply yourself and give yourself a chance," he added.