Pune: Captain Virat Kohli loathed the way Indian batsmen negotiated a rank turner, saying they showed how not to bat on such tracks and termed the massive defeat against Australia as their “worst” batting performance in recent times.
Kohli suffered his first Test defeat as captain at home with India plumetting to a humiliating 333-run loss.
“The batting let us down in both the innings. Our application was not good. There were no partnerships worth mentioning, it’s an area which fills us with pride. The batsmen need to pull their socks up. The batting was not up to standards, it showed how we shouldn’t bat, that’s all I will say,” Kohli lamented.
The India captain said it was “criminal” to concede a 155-run first innings lead as it made it too difficult to pull things back.
“It rarely happens that 4-5 people make judgment errors in both the innings and especially with the way we have batted over the last few months, I would say this was our worst batting performance. We need to accept that we batted badly and need to improve and back stronger in Bangalore. There’s lot of cricket left in the series.”
Talking about his own dismissal — he was bowled by spinner Steeve O’ Keefe whie leaving a ball — Kohli said he made a “judgment error”.
“I left the ball too early. I should have waited for a little more. It was my fault,” he said.
Kohli said the team will take the defeat in its stride and move ahead like it did after the loss at Galle against Sri Lanka in late 2015 from where the golden run commenced.
“It’s just another international game, no big deal. Just as you should be calm and composed and not get over-excited when we win, the same way we should stay the same way when we lose. We take it on the chin.
“The last time we had a performance like this we had an outstanding run from Galle. I would say that we needed something like this for a reality check and understand what we need to work on and not take anything for granted especially at the international level,” he continued.
“If you drop five catches off one batsman (Australia captain Steve Smith), you certainly don’t deserve to win and also if you lose seven wickets for 11 runs. I am sure you would not have asked me this question had we won. Our mindset does not change with the results,” he said to a pointed query.
He maintained the Indian bowlers, world’s no.1 ranked bowler, Ravichandran Ashwin, did their bit.
“I won’t blame the bowlers at all. Our batsmen put us in that position. It’s very difficult to come back after conceding such a big lead. The bowlers tried their level best.
Someone like Umesh Yadav bowling like that on a slow wicket was great to see,” said Kohli who himself flopped with the bat by scoring a duck and 13 in his two knocks.