Virat Kohli: We let ourselves down massively with the bat in first innings

Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian team, was blunt and direct during the media interaction after the India-New Zealand Test match at Wellington.

A dejected Virat Kohli leaves the field after being dismissed on day three of the first Test cricket match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

A dejected Virat Kohli leaves the field after being dismissed on day three of the first Test cricket match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.   -  AFP

Virat Kohli’s furrowed brows told the tale. The Indian skipper’s body language could not mask the pain of defeat. 

As the skipper of the World No. 1 Test team, he takes pride in his side’s performances overseas. India, though, was swept aside by the Kiwis at the Basin Reserve. 

To his credit, Kohli was blunt and direct. He did not make excuses.

Kohli said, “This is a game where we didn’t show enough competitiveness. In the past, we have played good cricket even when we have lost. But I think we let ourselves down massively with the bat in the first innings. If we had got 230 or 240 we would have given our bowlers a chance.”

The Indian skipper added, “You could say the toss played a big role in the Test match but that’s uncontrollable, so you can’t focus on that and take that as a massive factor.”

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Kohli said there was no shame in admitting India was not at its best in this Test. “Only if we accept this, we will come out in the next game with a much better mindset and with much more competitiveness.”

The Indian captain felt shot-selection was very important in these conditions. Kohli said the New Zealand bowlers got into the mind of the batsmen in these conditions, bowling with accuracy, with fielders around the bat. “You have to hit past those fielders and therein lies the risk. This pitch was slow and on the drier side. So we weren’t able to get our shots away,” he said.

Given his potential, Kohli was willing to give Prithvi Shaw more time. About himself, Kohli said, “I am batting really well. Sometimes the scores do not reflect how you are batting and that can happen when you don’t execute what you can well.” 

Kohli said India needed to block all the noise from outside [criticism] and approach the Christchurch Test with a clear mind-set.  And the batsmen had to take responsibility. It was more a mental thing than technical, he said.

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