ADELAIDE: India captain Virat Kohli Can’t remember a “worse batting performance” by his team than rock bottom ever Test score of 36 against Australia here but at an equivalent time, he has urged people to not “make mountain out of a molehill”.
He did discuss batsmen “lacking intent” to require forward the lead and although he didn’t take names, Mayank Agarwal ‘s approach (9 off 40 balls) within the morning was hard to elucidate when the team had a 62-run overnight advantage.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a worse batting performance than this. So we will only go upwards from here and you’ll see guys stepping up and realising their true characters,” Kohli said within the post-match news conference after his team lost the primary Test to Australia by eight wickets.
The Indian captain desperately tried but checked out pains to defend the indefensible – another inept overseas batting show with six successive many but 250 just this year.
“It’s a weird one to be honest in my opinion. The ball didn’t do much but we did not have an excessive amount of intent of going out there and taking the sport forward,” he lamented.
“Everything happened so quickly that nobody could make any sense of it,” Kohli was unable to fathom what hit his team.
Under Kohli, save the 2018 series in Australia, the Indian team has had way too many batting collapses including six on the trot, starting with New Zealand early this year, but strangely the skipper felt there’s not anything alarming about it.
“I don’t think it’s alarming and that we can alright sit here and make a mountain out of a molehill, it’s basically watching things within the right perspective,” he reasoned.
In fact, there are on the brink of 15 innings in SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) where the team has failed but the skipper could remember only six in 8-9 years.
“You have just spoken about five or six batting collapses in 8 to 9 years if I’m not wrong. There’ll definitely be collapses again and again and that we need to accept our mistakes and what we’d like to figure on.
“This isn’t club level cricket and clearly there’s tons of pressure involved at different stages and as batsmen, we pride oneself in doing our job for the team. We aren’t susceptible to getting out cheaply or susceptible to a collapse,” the skipper asserted.
For Kohli, there’s no point watching the past and he only wants to think how plans are often re-laid.
“Rather than going into the past on what went on and let it linger on in future, I don’t think that’s productive in the least .
“The team definitely doesn’t think like that and you learn from your mistakes and move forward.”
He, however, did acknowledge the strategic mistakes by his teammates.
“We played enough cricket to know what must be done at different stages during a match game . It’s just a scarcity of executing an idea which is apt for that situation on Day 3,” he said.
“We arrived today with 9 wickets in hand. We should always have definitely put during a stronger batting performance. I don’t think any mental fatigue is involved and that I don’t think that’s an element ,” he ruled out the burnout aspect completely.
While Josh Hazlwood and Pat Cummins were brilliant in their lines and lengths, the skipper felt that they didn’t do anything different compared to the primary innings.
“Look they bowled similar lengths within the first innings also. We were just better in terms of handling it and having an idea around it the way to set about it.”
A lead of around 50 plus can always be tricky and that’s what happened, feels the skipper.
“A little bit of a lead can always be tricky and as a batting unit, you’ll enter a headspace where you are feeling such as you are just 50 or 60 ahead, you don’t want to lose early wickets in order that the opposition comes at you.
“The way we batted allowed them to seem stronger than they really were within the morning to be honest because they bowled similar lengths. We batted way way better within the first innings,” he explained.
Kohli admitted that when again, India let the Australian tail wag, allowing the house team to succeed in 191 from 111 for 7 at one stage with as many as four catches being dropped during the innings.
“It was very crucial. I feel they were 7 down for 110 when Tim Paine offered an opportunity . Teams won’t provide you with opportunities again and again, you’ve got to grab it once they come your way
“Had we got a lead of 100 or more runs and with an honest batting effort the opposition starts panicking, the target would have slowly moved forward,” he signed off.
Kohli will continue paternity leave now to be there for the birth of first child with actor wife Anushka Sharma next month.