Galle: India skipper Virat Kohli today stoutly defended his five bowler strategy, saying the blame lays with the batsmen who failed to deliver while chasing 176 odd runs in the first cricket Test, here today.
Kohli said he would not say that he missed an extra batsmen as he chose to field five bowlers and as many batsmen. “If I have said I am going to play with five bowlers, I cannot go down after a performance like this and say I wish I had an extra player,” Kohli said after team’s 63-run loss.
“You cannot play with 12 players. If I have chosen to play with five bowlers to take 20 wickets then it is our responsibility to bat in a better way and we did not do that today. So I am not bringing up any excuses or wishing that we had an extra batsman. We should have done better with six batsmen,” he said.
“The idea always is to take 20 wickets and the bowlers did a very good job to do that and get us right into the game.We were set a target of 170-odd so we had an opportunity to win the game. It was a case of us being on top and forcing them to play the way they did in the second innings,” addedthe captain.
After being ahead of the hosts for the better part of three days, the Indian batsmen lost the plot on day four and were bowled out for 112 runs. The 26-year-old Kohli said the players lacked intent and smartness which was required in such situations.
“I think we did not counter what was being thrown at us. We should have been more smart with the way we wanted to go about playing against the spinners. I think in the end you saw Amit Mishra using his feet quite a bit. R Ashwin did that too. I think the other batsmen failed to learn from what should have been done from that sort of a wicket. So the need of the hour in the second innings was to take calculated risks when you are chasing a small total in the fourth innings.”
“The intent has to be there, which I think was lacking and it is something we need to improve on definitely. It should be a lesson for the batsmen today. There is no excuse. And I am certain that guys will want to improve on a couple of aspects as far as facing spin is concerned,” he added.