On Saturday, India recorded their lowest total in Test cricket history as they lost the four-match series opener against Australia by eight wickets in Adelaide. The visitors started the day with a lead of 62, but a dramatic batting collapse saw them finish for 36/9 in their second innings, with Mohammed Shami retired-hurt after taking a blow on his right-arm off Pat Cummins.
The Aussies chased down the 90-run target comfortably as opener Joe Burns scored an unbeaten 51 off 63, hitting a six off Umesh Yadav to finish the game.
“It really hurts,” the Indian skipper Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation. “We probably didn’t have enough intent in the batting today.
“It’s very hard to put those feeling into words. We had a lead of 60-odd when we arrived. And then we just collapsed. We played two days of good cricket to get in a position and then just lose it in an hour.”
Kohli felt that the batsmen went into their shell instead of looking for runs in the second innings.
“The bowlers bowled similar kind of areas in the first innings as well, but then our mindset was to get runs,” the 32-year-old added.
“There were some good balls but I don’t think it did anything drastic. Just the atmosphere was created where runs were difficult to come by. I think it was a combination of both – lack of intent, and bowlers bowling in good areas.
“I think the way we batted allowed them to look more potent than they probably were in the morning, to be honest,” Kohli pointed out.
“Because they bowled similar lengths in the first innings as well and we batted way, way better in the first innings than in the second innings obviously.”
He also mentioned that the ‘lack of intent’ could have been because of the tricky first-innings lead.
“A bit of a lead can always be tricky because as a batting unit you can go into a headspace where you feel like we’re just 50-60 ahead so you don’t want to lose early wickets so the opposition comes into the game. You’ve always got to be positive, you can’t think like that. Hence I said that we lacked intent.”
The losing captain further termed his team’s batting performance on Day 3 of the Adelaide Test as the worst India ever had, but was hopeful about his boys bouncing back with the second Test at the MCG.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a worse batting performance. So we can only go upwards from here and understand that as a team, we can do special things when we think of partnerships and think of batting together.
“I am confident the boys going forward will reflect on this and come up with a better result on Boxing Day,” Kohli signed off.