India had a rocky start after opting to bowl first against Nepal in a Group A game of Asia Cup 2023 in Pallekele on September 4. The fielding performance was far from India's usual high standards. Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, and Ishan Kishan all missed simple catches early in the innings.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri expressed his frustration with the fielding, saying, “Sloppy from India, really! This is straightforward. Ample time. No excuse though from the keeper’s point of view.”
Nepal came up with a spirited batting performance against India in their Asia Cup 2023 match
Nepal showed a better batting effort, reaching 230 all out in 48.2 overs. Their openers capitalized on India's fielding lapses, forming a 65-run partnership within the first 10 overs. Aasif Sheikh was Nepal's top scorer with 58 runs, and Somal Kampi played a brilliant knock of 48 off 56 balls.
Ravindra Jadeja was India's standout bowler, taking 3 wickets for 40 runs in 10 overs. Mohammed Siraj also claimed three wickets but conceded 61 runs in 9.2 overs. Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, and Hardik Pandya contributed with one wicket each, while Kuldeep Yadav went wicketless after bowling his full quota of overs.
India started their chase well, reaching 17/0 in 2.1 overs before rain interrupted play. The match started again and the target was reduced to 145 in 23 overs, which India chased down comfortably with all 10 wickets remaining.
Both Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma scored fifties and made a mockery of the chase, but the Indian fielders' dropped catches and missed chances allowed Nepal to post a competitive total. It remains to be seen how India rectify their fielding woes in the next match.