Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21: Who does Virat Kohli blame for India's 1st Test defeat in Adelaide?
First Published Dec 19, 2020, 4:32 PM IST
India is taking on Australia in a four-Test series to defend their Border-Gavaskar Trophy, they won during their last visit in 2018-19. India is off to a rocky start, losing the opening Test in Adelaide by eight wickets within three days, while it was a day-night affair.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli could not have asked for a terrible ending to the year of 2020, as his side succumbed to an embarrassing eight-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the opening day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval. The loss brought an end to Kohli's stint for the year, as he would miss the remaining three Tests, ahead of the birth of his first child.
Kohli had a tough year, owing to the pandemic, as he did not get enough games to solidify his tag of being the world's best batsman. Furthermore, he failed to finish the year without an international century, which happened to be only the second time in his career.
Meanwhile, speaking on the severe loss, Kohli felt that it was the lack of intent from his teammates that led to their downfall in the opening Test, despite earning a first innings lead. "Whenever we have performed well, especially overseas… see you can make all the team plans you want, it is more important what the mindset of the individuals taking the field is," Kohli said during the post-match press conference.
"At an individual level, you have to be clear when you step on the field as to how you want to play, whether you want to take the game forward or you want to play absolutely solid. That you are very sound defensively and are feeling comfortable. Historically, I can tell you whenever I have batted well in these situations my plan has been to go and get quick 30-40 runs and take the game forward. This is very significant," added Kohli.
"As much as you plan on the team level, individuals need to have the right mindset in these critical moments and take the game forward. That is how you move towards winning. If your mindset is not right, like ours wasn't today, when we lacked in intent, the opposition can sense it and put you under extreme pressure. That is exactly what happened. The individuals will have to see how they can have the mindset to take the game forward given the team's situation," Kohli continued.
Speaking on what the Indians could have done better, Kohli observed, "A bit of lead can always be tricky because as a batting unit you can go into a headspace, where you feel like we are just 50 or 60 ahead and you don't want to lose early wickets, and allow opposition back into the game. So, you always have to be positive and you can't think like that. Hence, I said, we lacked intent, because we should have just seen where the game has to go, rather than where it has come to till now and move the game forward, which we were not able to do. I think the way we batted allowed them to look more potent than they were in the morning, to be honest. They bowled similarly in the first innings and we batted way, way better."
Kohli was also wary of some tough luck, ruing the fact that their fielding too somewhat let them down. "So, Test cricket, you have to take your chances when they come your way. They can be very, very costly, something that we realised in a very harsh way today. What the repercussions of not taking those chances can be, and will be in Test cricket. Teams will not offer you opportunities again and again. You have to take them when they come your way and try and capitalise on that momentum. That definitely would have been a boost for us, if we had a lead of a few runs more. Then, we are already over 100, and with a decent start, the opposition starts panicking," he reckoned.
However, Kohli played down on speculation of bio-bubble life taking a toll. "I don't think so. We have played enough cricket to understand what needs to be done at different stages of a Test match, and it is just lack of execution. It is just lack of executing a plan that is apt for the situation, and it is to move the game. Day three is called moving day and you drive home the advantage. Lead of 62 runs with nine wickets in hand, should have definitely put in a better batting performance. I don't think any mental fatigue was involved, it was only the first Test of the series," he counted.
As he leaves India trailing, he expressed his confidence at the side bouncing back. "I would have definitely loved to win this game, because leaving with a victory would have been great. Having said that, this is Test cricket, and anything can happen at any stage. I'm pretty confident that the team will bounce back strongly in Melbourne," he told.
"A few of the guys are going to realise their true characters and how they can step up for the side. I'm very confident that we will learn from this. I don't think we have ever had a worse batting collapse than this, and it can only go up from here, and understand as a team, we can do special things when there is a partnership. I'm sure we will bounce back strongly in the next Test and there is no doubt about that," concluded Kohli.