Batsmen didn’t do enough for bowlers to attack: Kohli

Christchurch: “No excuses,” said Indian captain Virat Kohli after yet another batting capitulation led to his team’s 0-2 series defeat at the hands of New Zealand here on Monday.

A forthright Kohli admitted that his batsmen let the team down after the bowlers brought them back into the game on the second day. “We accept it upfront and if we have to win away from home, we have to do that. No excuses, just learning moving forward. In Tests, we weren’t able to play the cricket we wanted to,” Kohli said.

After making 242 in the first innings of the must-win second Test, India folded for 124 in their second essay, leaving the hosts with a victory target of 132 for a series sweep. “The batsmen didn’t do enough for the bowlers to try and attack. The bowling was good, I thought even in Wellington we bowled well. Sometimes if you bowl well and things don’t happen, you have to take it in your stride,” the skipper said.

At the presentation ceremony, Kohli said his team would have to ‘go back’ to the drawing board. “It was a matter of not having enough intent in the first game, and not closing out here. We didn’t bowl in the right areas for long enough. They created a lot of pressure. It was a combination of us not executing well enough and New Zealand sticking to their plans. Disappointing, have
to go back to the drawing board and correct things going forward.”

Asked if the coin not landing in his favour had any impact, he said, “Toss, you could think about it being a factor, but we don’t complain. It did give extra advantage to the bowlers in each Test but as an international side, you’re expected to understand that.”

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said beating world number one India was immensely satisfying. “It’s a fine line, India are a world-class side and to beat them is quite satisfying. A great effort,” Williamson said. “Fairly supporting surfaces, you could create opportunities throughout. History suggests it does a bit initially and flattens out. 30s and 40-run partnership was huge on this surface. A fantastic series from outside, the way we stuck at it.”

He was full of praise for Man of the Match Kyle Jamieson, who impressed in both matches. “Jamieson is an exciting talent, contributed very well in both games. The runs he scored towards the back end of both games were incredibly valuable. These two games are opportunities for us to try and take steps forward. Looking to finish off the season on a high.”

In only his second Test, Jamieson picked up five wickets and scored a valuable 49 when New Zealand were in all sorts of trouble in their first innings. “It’s been pretty surreal couple of weeks, just to be part of the group and win a couple of matches feels good,” Jamieson said. ‘Pitch conditions obviously help and trying to find the fuller length and making decisions more often about the length and sometimes natural variations take over. It’s time that I work on a lot on my batting, especially batting lower down the order and in both tests the partnerships down the order have made a difference.”

Virat loses cool over send-off query

India captain Virat Kohli on Monday got annoyed after being asked about his animated celebrations over Kane Williamson’s dismissal on day two of the second Test before clarifying that match referee Ranjan Madugalle had no issues with what happened.

However, when Williamson was asked about the incident, New Zealand captain downplayed the incident, saying it was “typical of Virat, who plays the game with lot of passion”.Following India’s seven wicket loss, one of the local journalists sought Kohli’s reaction on allegedly swearing at Williamson and that did not go down well with the away team captain. India lost the series 0-2. “What do you think? I am asking you the answer,” the irritation was writ large on Indian skipper’s face as he came up with a sharp retort. “You need to find out an answer and come up with a better question. You can’t come here with half questions and half details of what happened. Also if you want to create controversy, this is not the right place. I spoke with the match referee (Madugalle) and he had no issues with what happened,” said Kohli.

It was on day two when Williamson was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah and Kohli was animated as ever in his celebrations. Kohli also gestured the crowd to keep quiet. When Williamson was asked about Kohli’s celebrations, he simply laughed it off. “It is Virat and he is passionate on the field. I don’t think we need to read too much into it,” Williamson told