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Virat Kohli says Pune loss to Australia a reality check that India needed

Virat Kohli believes that the 333-run defeat against Australia in Pune is a much-needed reality check that will help the India cricket team bounce back.

cricket Updated: Feb 25, 2017 19:45 IST
India vs Australia,Virat Kohli,Steve O'Keefe
Steve O’Keefe celebrates after dismissing Virat Kohli in the first Test match between Australia and India in Pune.(BCCI)

India captain Virat Kohli said the 333-run loss in the first Test against Australia is a reality check that the team needed after a 19-match unbeaten run. This was India’s first defeat at home since losing to England in Kolkata in 2012. India had not lost a match at home since then and Kohli hopes this loss will serve as similar inspiration to bounce back. (LIVE BLOG)

“The last time we had a performance like this, we had the most outstanding run after that. I would say that we needed something like this for us to get a reality check and understand what are the things we need to work on and keep persisting with it, not take anything for granted at any stage, especially at Test match level,” Kohli said after losing the Test.

Kohli however didn’t forget the main issue that got India in such a situation. “If you don’t apply yourself, any bowling attack can look dangerous. And I certainly would like to think that that was the case with our batting line-up in this game,” Kohli said, adding that this was their worst batting performance at home.

“It rarely happens that four-five batsmen make errors in judgment in both the innings, especially with the way we batted in the last few months. I would say this was our worst batting performance and we need to accept that. Our batting wasn’t up to standard and that’s certainly how we shouldn’t bat from here onwards.”

READ | Is Virat Kohli a one-man army for India? Pune defeat hints at that

Kohli was out on duck in the first innings and failed to play a captain’s knock in the second innings where he was cleaned up by O’Keefe on 13. It was a disastrous dismissal, given that he had shouldered arms to the delivery and let the ball uproot his off-stump at a significant juncture of the game. Kohli admitted his error in judging the delivery.

“It was a judgment error from my side. I left the ball too early. I should have waited for the ball a little more. You can’t say which ball is going to turn or which isn’t. You’ve got to play the line and I certainly didn’t do that. It was my fault,” he said.

This was Kohli’s lowest aggregate score in a match at home in which he had batted in both innings. The captain, however, played down the impact of the loss, stating that the result wouldn’t affect the team’s morale.

“I wouldn’t think too much about this Test. If after 18 or 19 Tests, we play one bad game, you have to accept that it’s a part of international cricket,” Kohli said. “I don’t know if people were thinking that we couldn’t lose at all, but in our mind there was no such thing. If we don’t play good cricket, then any team can beat us.”

First Published: Feb 25, 2017 19:33 IST