Virat Kohli bemoaned the lack of application by the Indian batsmen, especially in the first innings, after his team's crushing 227-run defeat in Chennai Tuesday.

“I think the Test probably shifted in their favour when we batted in the first innings because we were looking to bat long and we were not able to do that. I don't think there was enough application shown by us as a batting unit,” said Kohli at the post-match press conference.

“From a batting point of view, if we could have scored 70-80 runs more, the contest would have been on an even keel. We need to continuously put pressure on them. If we do that, we are confident we will get the results. The batting of both teams in the second innings was pretty similar. The first innings made the difference,” he added.

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Kohli also felt that the bowlers did not put enough pressure in the first innings. “As a bowling unit, we did not bowl well collectively. The pacers and Ashwin bowled in good areas. But if (Shahbaz) Nadeem and Washi (Sundar) were equally economical, then there would have been more pressure on England,” said Kohli.


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However, he also pointed out that there was not enough help for the bowlers on the first two days, allowing the English batsmen to rotate the strike easily. “The wicket was flat and slow. I am not saying that that is an excuse that we will hold onto as a team, but you have to understand the reality of what went on. When you get big runs on the board, even when the wicket is flat, the opposition is invariably put under pressure.”

When asked about the decision to play Shahbaz Nadeem ahead of Kuldeep Yadav, Kohli said, “When playing two off-spinners, Kuldeep more or less becomes a similar kind of spinner taking the ball away (from the left-hander). We will think of combinations which bring us variety as a bowling attack.”

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The captain also backed Ajinkya Rahane to come good despite a string of low scores in the last three Tests since his century in Melbourne against Australia. “Ajinkya, I have said many times in the past as well, along with [Cheteshwar] Pujara is our most important Test batsman, and he is going to continue to be. We believe in his abilities, have believed in his abilities for a long time now and he's an impact player.”