Kohli refuses to blame pitches for collapses

16-03-2017
DH

 

In four innings spread over two Tests, India have suffered three collapses while doing only half justice to the batting wealth that they have in the second innings of the Bengaluru match.

KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane produced a half-century each on a difficult wicket to set up India’s series-levelling victory. While Rahul, the highest run-getter in the series from either side, has been batting well, it was the performance of Pujara and Rahane that stood out not just because it had great say in the final result but the way they managed to counter Aussie spinners, particularly Nathan Lyon.

“Individually, I think, the guys make adjustments in their techniques,” Virat Kohli said, talking about Pujara and Rahane. “I saw Pujara opening up his stance which was an apt adjustment for him to give himself more space to play the ball. Ajinkya, again, getting inside the line of the ball and not playing through the covers. I think those are the small adjustments. KL is batting well anyway but I think those two guys stepped up their game and found a way to score runs on a difficult wicket. And as I mentioned, that was the difference between winning a game and probably not winning. Such minor things can make massive differences in the game,” he explained.

Kohli once again refused to blame the nature of the pitches for batting collapses. He demanded stronger mental approach from the batsmen to succeed on these kinds of surfaces.

“I wouldn’t say so much on the pitches,” Kohli began. “Australia batted really well in Pune, we didn’t bat so well. Again in Bangalore’s second innings, we batted better than them. I think even on a flat wicket, if you are under pressure, you tend to have collapses. We have seen it so many times in the past that on perfectly normal wickets, sides have been bundled out for 60-70 from pressure from the opposition.

I think Test cricket is more mental than looking at all the external factors. On that sort of a wicket, as I mentioned before, Pujara and Ajinkya’s partnership was outstanding because it wasn’t easy to bat. But at the same time, they showed their mental strength and what they can do as individuals.”

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