Virat Kohli: Don't want to be in denial on what went wrong

Virat Kohli wants his team not to be in denial on what went wrong during the two-match Test series in New Zealand.

Virat Kohli with teammates after India's defeat in the Christchurch Test.   -  Getty Images

Virat Kohli’s demeanour reflected his mood. He was bitterly disappointed at India’s capitulation. There was no fight, no resistance as the Indians slumped to yet another defeat on day three here.

On India’s last tour of South Africa, Kohli had spoken passionately following India’s Test series defeat at Centurion. He had said, “To win Test series abroad [away from the sub-continent] you got to keep thinking and dreaming about it everyday.”

But then, as he answered questions here on Monday, Kohli appeared more pragmatic. He had taken the hard knocks as a batsman and captain in the series. He was sober; that fire you saw at Centurion was missing. 

Kohli said, “Obviously quite disappointed with how we played in this series. Every challenge that comes our way, we try to take it head on. I feel like we were completely outplayed in this series. There is no shame in being outplayed at the international level.”

He added, “We obviously didn’t play the kind of cricket we do as a team. The thing to take away from here is to not shy away from things that have gone wrong. Instead, address them straight up, and not be in denial. Acceptance is the first word.”

Virat Kohli: No excuses, batsmen didn’t do enough for bowlers to attack

The Indian skipper elaborated: “Because we do have a lot of cricket away from home coming this season. It is something we are optimistic about, and looking forward to. Things that have not gone right here, we would like to be in similar situations and correct them.”

Kohli admitted India was not positive enough in the series. “We were not brave enough in moments, which we have done in the past. Even though we lost, we still competed. Skills follow your mindset. We needed to have more clarity as batsmen. Perhaps we made too much of the conditions.”

Kohli was not willing to blame any particular batsman for getting stuck at the crease. “You take the hit collectively,”

On Rishabh Pant not delivering despite being given chances, he said, “You got to strike a balance. You cannot push a player out too early. It can damage his confidence.”

Kohli said the team was not dependent on his batting alone. “It’s not like that at all. If you take the Australia series, Pujara made the biggest contribution there.”

On his alleged swear words against Kane Williamson, Kohli said, “I have spoken to the match referee. There is nothing in it.”

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