Indian captain Virat Kohli expressed confidence that the team will bounce back from a demoralising eight-wicket loss at the hands of Australia in the first Test at Adelaide.
India could only manage 36 in their second innings and fell to a defeat in two and a half days despite taking a 53-run lead in the first innings. However, Kohli felt it was a case of lack of execution and intent rather than mental fatigue of playing continuous cricket.
“We have played enough cricket to understand what needs to be done at different stages in a Test match. It’s just lack of execution, it’s lack of executing a plan that is apt for the situation,” Kohli told reporters after the game.
“With a lead of 62 at the start of the day with nine wickets in hand, we should have put up a stronger batting display. There’s no mental fatigue involved. I don’t think that’s a factor,” he added.
Speaking on the disastrous batting display, Kohli said it was an aberration and the team can only get better after it.
“Don’t think we’ve had a worse batting performance so we can only go upwards and understand that as a team we can do special things when we think of partnerships and batting together,” he said.
Kohli also felt the main difference between the first and the second innings was the way India batted and not how the Australians bowled. He felt the batsmen didn’t have the right mindset to take India towards a win after taking a lead in the first innings.
“They bowled similar lengths in the first innings but we were just better in handling it and having a plan around it. A bit of a lead can be tricky as a batting unit you can go into a headspace where you feel like you’re just 50 or 60 ahead and you don’t want to lose early wickets and opposition comes into the game,” Kohli said.
“You always have to be positive, you can’t think like that. Hence I feel we lacked intent. We should probably thought about where the game needs to go rather than where it’s come to till now. The way we batted allowed them to look more potent than probably what they were,” he added.
The Indian captain felt individuals should have reacted better to the loss of wickets in the second innings and taken charge of the situation to take India towards a respectable total.
“As a team how much ever we prepare the mindset of the team, when you step out on the ground, you have to know what you want to achieve out there,” Kohli said.
“I have batted in situations where we have done well and individually I have always had a plan that if we score quick runs, the game moves. These things make a lot of difference. As a team, you may have a sound plan but in these moments, individuals need to have the right mindset. That takes you towards a win,” he added.
Kohli will now fly back to India for the birth of his first child but the Indian captain felt the team can not just cope with his absence but also bounce back from the tough loss.
“I would have definitely loved if we would have won this game before I leave but having said that this is Test cricket and anything can happen at any stage,” he said.
“I’m pretty confident that the team is going to bounce back in Melbourne. Few of the guys are going to realise their true characters and how they can step up for the team so I’m very confident that we’ll definitely learn from this,” he added.
India will now play Australia in the second Test at Melbourne that begins on December 26.