'Let's not make mountain out of molehill,' says Virat Kohli
Indian captain Virat Kohli opened up after a shocking defeat to Australia in the first Test (D/N) at Adelaide Oval. Speaking in the post-match press conference, Kohli highlighted India's "worse batting performance". However, the Indian skipper reflected there isn't anything alarming about the situation. Notably, the Indian team, on Saturday, was bundled out for their lowest-ever score (36) in Test cricket.
Here is what Kohli said. "I don't think we have ever had a worse batting performance than this. So we can only go upwards from here and you will see guys stepping up and realising their true characters," he said. "The ball didn't do much, but we didn't have too much intent of going out there and taking the game forward."
The Indian captain aims to analyze things with the "right perspective". "I don't think it's alarming and we can very well sit here and make a mountain out of a molehill, it's basically looking at things in the right perspective," he added.
On Day 3, the Indian batsmen were beaten all ends up in front of a charged-up Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. The tourists began with their overnight score of 9/1, and were suddenly reduced to 19/6. Interestingly, none of India's batsmen reached the double figures, with Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ravichandran Ashwin recording a duck. Eventually, the Indian innings ended on 36/9d.
India recorded their lowest-ever score in a Test innings (36). The previous lowest score was 42, which India recorded against England at Lord's in 1974. Notably, India's third-lowest score in Test cricket is also against Australia (58, Brisbane, 1947). Overall, India registered the seventh-lowest score in the history of Test cricket. New Zealand top this tally (26 vs England, 1955).
Even the Indian skipper has been far from his standards, in terms of batting. Although he scored a brilliant 74 in the first innings, he couldn't capitalize upon it. Notably, this was the first year since 2008 when Kohli didn't record a single international ton.
Considering the batting, Kohli lamented "lack of execution". "We played enough cricket to understand what needs to be done at different stages in a Test match. It's just lack of executing a plan which is apt for that situation on Day 3," he said. "We arrived today with 9 wickets in hand. We should have definitely put in a stronger batting performance."
Now, the Boxing Day Test (Melbourne) will certainly be a series-defining game. With Kohli's departure, the holes in batting line-up will further escalate. The injury of Mohammed Shami would give another headache to the management. In such crisis, India could play the experienced KL Rahul at the top, alongside Mayank Agarwal. Meanwhile, Shubman Gill's flamboyance might also be of use in the middle-order.