Sri Lanka vs India 2015: Virat Kohli expresses his disappointment after first Test defeat
Indian Test team captain Virat Kohli said there are no excuses after the defeat in the first Test against Sri Lanka, reports NDTV. India faced a 63-run loss as Lanka took a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series.
The home team came from behind after Dinesh Chandimal's heroic run-a-ball century to grab the victory at Galle International Stadium yesterday. Kohli accepted the fact that India struggled against the spin bowling attack of Sri Lanka.
"I think all the players are disappointed by the way we batted today, as batting has been our strength in the past few months. There are no excuses and there is lot to learn from the loss today," said Kohli. "We did not counter what was being thrown at us. I think we should have been smarter batting against the spinners. We had to take calculated risks in the fourth innings when we were chasing a small total and intent had to be there which I think was lacking. Definitely it's an area of improvement."
India after taking a 192-run lead in the first innings, failed to capitalise the momentum. Chandimal's 162 runs innings changed everything and Sri Lanka were back on track in no time. Kohli added that Indian bowlers did well and got all 20 wickets, but batsmen didn't perform on the fourth day. Sri Lankans' played fearless cricket in the end, they were attacking and scored runs at almost 5 per-over run rate.
"We got no one to blame, but ourselves. Credit to Angelo Mathews and his team for playing good cricket today. We failed to capitalise after taking the first five wickets (in the second innings) and Sri Lanka dominated from there," Kohli rued. "One bad session and things can turn around quickly, that is Test cricket.
"Our bowling in the second innings was spot on, in fact in both innings. We were able to take 20 wickets which is important. As we had led from first innings our spinners went on attacking mode to take wickets," he said.
"They countered that by playing fearless cricket. Just an hour and a half of bad session for us cost us the match."
On Rohit Sharma’s form
When Kohli was asked about the poor form of the batsman Sharma, he defended saying they need to back best players in their poor form.
"It is important to back your best players. People whom you think can be match winners for you. The reason Rohit started getting more chances is because Cheteshwar Pujara was going through a phase where he wasn't getting too many runs. So it was a case of giving another batsman a chance," the skipper added.
"Now Rohit has got three to four chances. The idea was to persist with him. We surely need to sit and discuss as a batting unit as a whole, what the mindset is like and what are they willing to execute the plans we want them to."
Chandimal was the man who took it all away from India, he gave the actual start to the Sri Lankans' innings. His attacking game changed the scenario of the match in one session. Kohli said he is not shocked by Chandimal's match winning performance.
"I am not shocked. Chandimal is a good player and we all know he is talented. He came into the squad and performed pretty well, he then had a tough phase in his career and again he delivered for his side. He is doing justice to his talent," the 26-year-old said.
"We thought the wicket would be more difficult to bat, but credit to the way Dinesh and the rest batted. They really kept Sri Lanka in the hunt."