Sydney: India’s star batsman Virat Kohli on Friday defended his batting colleagues, insisting they have learnt a lot from the 25-run defeat in the fourth One-Day International and won’t repeat the mistake of not finishing off the match from a dominating position.
In the fourth and penultimate match in Canberra chasing a 349-run target, India’s batting soared, aided by centuries from opener Shikhar Dhawan and No.3 batsman Virat Kohli.
But the team suffered a dramatic collapse, losing nine wickets for a mere 46 runs to nosedive to a 25-run defeat.
India trail the five-match series 0-4. The final match is to be played in Sydney on Saturday.
“We have played good cricket so far, but we have not capitalised on important moments. Still, I feel we have been very competitive on the field. In international cricket, it is all about capitalising on those moments which Australia has done better than us. If you see the four matches so far, results could have gone either way,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference here on Friday.
“That is something we have really lacked. We haven’t been able to close the games off and we need to learn this in international cricket.”
“Next time I am certain this happens, guys will have learnt to do so because no one wants to tour abroad and lose games after playing well. It hurts even more. If you are not playing well it is a different story, but when you are playing good cricket, it hurts more that you are not able to cross the finish line,” the India Test skipper said.
India won the toss and elected to bat in the first two ODIs. Opener Rohit Sharma slammed centuries in both the matches to set a strong target for the hosts.
Kohli said the defeat could be a blessing in disguise as the young team got enriched in dealing with pressure situations, which would serve them well in the future.
“If we were mentally bogged down, we wouldn’t be able to compete at all. We just have to be smarter about chasing down totals. If the results were different, there would be different questions and different debates. But we have to respect this result and Australia are a tough side, and they know these conditions better,” the vice captain said.
When asked if the morale of the dressing room is still the same after suffering defeats, the 27-year-old said, “Morale is the same as we came here two weeks ago. Everyone is still trying and working hard. We have believed in the four games that we can cross the line at any stage. We always knew that but we haven’t been able to execute that. We have a game tomorrow and still have three T20Is.”
“We would like to finish strongly, and win all these games left. So we are looking at these four games rather than two series separately because we will feel much better about ourselves, if we do well from here on,” he said,” Kohli concluded.