Left to rue India’s failure to finish the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka inside three days, captain Virat Kohli on Saturday made no bones about his side’s embarrassing capitulation, saying “we got no one to blame but ourselves”.
In an extraordinary twist, India capitulated to a 63-run defeat against Sri Lanka, who scripted one of the most remarkable turnarounds in recent Test history. A disappointed Kohli conceded that his side were to blame for their failure to wrap up the game on the third day itself on Friday when Sri Lanka were at 95/5 at one stage in their second innings before Dinesh Chandimal’s counter-attacking 162 set India a tricky victory target of 176. India were all out for 112 in their run chase.
“We got no one to blame but ourselves. We failed to capitalise after taking the first five wickets (in the second innings). We should have finished the game in that session. One bad session and the game can turn, that is how Test cricket is,” Kohli said after his side lost the first Test to trail the three-match series 0-1 here. “Credit to Angelo Mathews and his team. Rangana Herath is an outstanding bowler, he put our batsmen under pressure,” he added.
He was also candid about what was lacking in the team in the match, saying that “clarity of thought” and “mental strength” were important ingredients to be successful in international cricket. “It’s clarity of thought that is required in a high pressure situations. That’s how you differentiate from average players or teams. That’s the most important thing we need to learn from today. It does not matter whether you are chasing 170, the thought process has to be clear,” a disappointed Kohli said.
“It is easier said than done but as international cricketers we should have the ability to think clearly and need to have that character. And also have those match winning partnerships. It is all about mental strength and we lacked that today.”