Johannesburg:India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday said the opening match defeat against Pakistan was crucial to his side's early ouster from the Champions Trophy.
India started their group campaign in the elite ICC event by losing against Pakistan and then their second league match against Australia was washed out, leaving Dhoni and his men in a precarious situation.
Although India beat West Indies by seven wickets on Wednesday, Australia, eventually, poured water to their semi-final hopes, defeating Pakistan by two wickets in a nail-bitting another Group A match earlier in the day.
"I think the first game we didn't play to our potential. The loss in the first game was very crucial. To our bad luck, the game against Australia was washed out. We could have easily won that game.
"But yes, we made a few errors on the field and I think the blame goes on to the first game. Getting into the groove early is very important," a disappointed Dhoni said after registering India's first win in the tournament.
The India captain, however, lauded his bowlers and said ignoring a few mistakes, he was satisfied with their performance.
"Praveen (Kumar) and Ashish (Nehra) started brilliantly. Ashish has been the pick of the bowlers in this tournament. Bhajji (Harbhajhan Singh), (Amit) Mishra too bowled well. Overall, I am very happy with the bowling performance.
"We did commit some mistakes against Pakistan but the conditions were there and they exploited it to the best," Dhoni said.
He expressed optimism of getting a full strength side against Australia, who will touring India next month for seven one-day internationals.
"Well a nice break thats for sure. Next is the Champions League, we will look to get some entertainment out of it and next will be Australia, so be prepared for it. Hopefully, all the guys will be fit for the series," Dhoni said.
"Overall we have good time in our hand to prepare for the Australia series," he added.
Dhoni's counterpart Floyd Reifer blamed the West Indian batting failure responsible for the side's shoddy performance in the event.
"We didn't get a lot of runs today. Start is very important, the more you get a start you have better chance in the match," Reifer said.
"Our batting is something we need to work upon. Our bowling and fielding has been pretty good. Gavin Tonge specially bowled very well throughout the tournament. Nikita Miller also bowled well."
Meanwhile, man-of-the-match Virat Kohli, who replaced injured Yuvraj Singh in the Indian squad for the tournament, said he was confident of good showing when he went out to bat today.
"I am hitting the ball well for the past three months. I have been doing well in the domestic level, so I was really confident that I could go out there and score some runs," Kohli, who made an unbeaten 79 against West Indies, said.
"I have learnt to be more patient in the crease which I was not earlier," he added.