A disappointed Virat Kohli on Monday admitted that his side was "completely outplayed" by New Zealand in the two-Test series and they can't live in denial about "not being brave enough" to counter adverse conditions.
"Obviously quite disappointed with how we played in this series. I feel like we were completely outplayed in this series," the Indian captain was honest and forthright in his assessment following the seven-wicket loss.
"We obviously didn't play the kind of cricket we do as a team. The thing to take away from here is to not shy away from things that have gone wrong and instead address them straight up, and not be in denial," he said.
Asked to point out what exactly went wrong, Kohli felt the outlook towards a series in adverse conditions was "not ideal".
"I think the outlook as far as I am concerned, and as far as I saw things happening, was not ideal for us in this series. We were not positive enough. We were not brave enough in moments, which we have done in the past. Skills follow your mindset, simple as that."
However, he didn't like New Zealand being called India's "bogey team", having lost to the Black Caps in 2019 World Cup semifinal and two series in white and red ball formats.
"I am sure no one was saying that in first half of the tour," he said referring to his team's 5-0 win in the T20 series.
"You can't just make a team a bogey team because of one Test series defeat and a semi-final loss. They played better cricket on that day, and in this Test series, and there is no shame in accepting that.
"We are not trying to create some controversy by tagging a team or naming a bogey team or something like that," the skipper certainly wasn't amused.
But does the team have enough time to iron out the flaws considering the amount of cricket it plays?.
"There are two ways to look at it. I would much rather be in the middle and try to correct those things rather than having too much time in between and waiting for a game to arrive so that you can figure out whether you have corrected it or not," said Kohli.
"The advantage of playing a lot of cricket is that if you are working on something, you have many games to try and execute it straight up. It's the way you look at it. As I said, it needs to be balanced. Neither can you over-think nor be in denial. It works differently for different people."