India may have swept the two-match Test series but the result will not cover all cracks. Two of India’s biggest batters Virat Kohli and KL Rahul failed to get going, a major worry ahead of the four-match Test series against Australia in February-March.
In the 36 innings since his last Test century against Bangladesh in Nov. 2019 in Kolkata, Kohli averages 26.20 with just six fifties. Rahul, the stand-in skipper, hasn’t gone past 25 in seven straight innings.
But is it prudent for out-of-form batters to try and find their form in high-stakes Test matches?
“We obviously don’t go into the game thinking of what we may have done previously or what might happen next,” Rahul said on Sunday. “You want to give it your best. Sometimes it doesn’t happen. I have seen ups and downs and I know that neither lasts too long.”
“When you are playing all three formats, it is tricky to just jump from one to the other. Personally I haven’t played Test cricket in some time and it takes time to get back into the groove.
“Performances in this series haven’t been great. I can accept that. I tried my best but it didn’t work. But I always look forward and see what I can do better.”
Of particular concern is Indian batters’ trouble countering spin, an art once considered part of their muscle memory.
“Whatever the conditions, seaming or turning, batters will get out,” said Rahul. “If it is a pattern, you will work with your coaches and see where things are wrong.”
“We have four important Tests against Australia and there will be assistance for spin. Australia will be prepared. They will study the conditions, the pitches.
“Preparation and hard work are in our hands. [But] you will never be perfect. Even if we play just spin in the next one month, it doesn’t guarantee hundreds in every match. You just prepare with the right mindset. The mistakes we have done here, the experiences we have had will be handy.”