A deflated India captain Virat Kohli conceded he had no words to explain the morale-crushing loss to Australia in the opening day-night Test in Adelaide and blamed his batsmen’s lack of intent for the side’s lowest ever Test score.
A rampaging Australia cruised to an emphatic eight-wicket victory inside two and half days in the first Test after India collapsed to 36 in their second innings.
“Very hard to put those feelings into words. We had a lead of 60-odd coming and just collapsed. When you work hard for two days and put yourself in a strong position and then an hour puts you in a position where it’s literally impossible to win,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
“I think we should have showed a little more intent today. They (Australians) bowled in similar kind of areas in the first innings as well but probably our mindset was to score runs.”
He said the Australians bowled some good balls but didn’t do anything drastically different from the first innings.
“I think it was the mindset, it was very evident. It felt like the runs were so difficult to come by and the bowlers got confident. I think it was a combination of lack of intent and the (Australian) bowlers hitting their areas.”
Kohli will be leaving the tour for the birth of first child next month, leaving Ajinkya Rahane to lead the side in the remaining three Tests.
“Obviously you want to be committed to the team’s cause, a (good) result would have been really nice. But I’m pretty confident that the boys going forward will reflect on this and come back stronger on Boxing Day,” he said referring to the second Test starting December 26 in Melbourne.
Australia captain Tim Paine, who was named Player of the Match, said he did not expect India to collapse in such a way.
“Not really. I said this morning in the media that both these attacks have the ability to take quick wickets. Didn’t expect them to come this quick. When our boys execute and there’s anything in the wicket, this is what can happen.”
On his knock of 73 in the Australian first innings on Friday, he said, “For the team it was very important to get close to that total. Obviously 5 for 79 you lose a few more and India go ahead in the test.
“When you’re as tall as our boys and as quick as our boys, it can become very difficult so credit to our bowlers again.”
Paine was all praise for his bowlers but said his batsmen were below-par.
“Absolutely rapped with the way we bowled, but our batting was below what we expect,” he said.
“Burnsy (Joe Burns) is a really important part of our team and all cricketers know how hard it is to go on a run like that, to come out in a Test match and do that will do Burnsy a lot of good,” he added.
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