Kohli: 'Won't produce a performance like Pune again'

The Indians were hammered by 333 runs in the first Test inside three days in a stunning defeat, which ended its 19-match unbeaten streak. Ahead of the second Test starting here tomorrow, Kohli said the host has learnt its lessons from the debacle.

Kohli said it was a rare collective failure for the Indians in the first Test.   -  PTI


When it comes to match-eve prevarications on the playing XI, Virat Kohli is not in M.S. Dhoni's league yet. But he is learning quickly. India's captain simply would not be drawn on team composition ahead of Saturday's second Test at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, preferring to keep his cards close to his chest.

"These are perceptions; we have our ideas," he said, when asked if Jayant Yadav and Ishant Sharma could be left out of the side. "Jayant has been outstanding. You can't put too much pressure on a guy who's played just one series. He's been brilliant so far; he's a very intelligent cricketer. All of us go through the grind. We have good games, bad games, off days as well. Pune wasn't his best game. I won't sit here and judge him because he's played only a few games but he knows how to turn things around and get back into that mindset he started his first series with. I'm sure he'll get back into that zone."

Read: Kohli dismisses Smith’s pressure remark as mind games

A final decision on the eleven, Kohli smiled, would be made "in a couple of hours". "I won't let it out right now but we do have two or three combinations in mind," he said. "We'll see what works best for this surface. Eventually we'll come to a conclusion this evening. But yes, all kinds of possibilities tomorrow...there might be a few surprises. I can't say whether five bowlers will play or four will play. That should be left up to the team management to decide."

Kohli was firm in his belief that the team had learned its lessons from Pune. "Obviously you will want to forget a bad result but it's important that you take it to heart (dil pe lagna hain)," he said. "It's important that you learn from it. It's important to accept that we lost the Test match because of a lack of intent and because the other team played better cricket than us. If your ego is hurt and you ignore it then that thing piles on. You will not get to see a performance like that again: that much I can assure you."

Virat Kohli PC


Kohli also made clear his displeasure with what he perceived as excessive criticism in the aftermath of the first Test, India's first loss in the format in 20 matches.

“I felt this sort of strange energy...some people were quite excited about the fact that they had something to write about the team after two years,” he said. “Yeah, the pitch, the players' mindset, their skills, the pressure and whatnot, everything came into contention. It's fine, some people would have made more out of their jobs in those few days. We never get excited by praise; we don't focus on criticism either. We take losses together; we take wins together. That's one reason we ended up having that streak (of 19 unbeaten matches). We didn't expect it; it became a streak eventually.”

Kohli added: “The comments or headlines don't matter to us; they never have and we don't base our cricket on that.”

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