Virat Kohli said that the team would have liked 30-40 runs less to chase on day five at the Optus Stadium.
Virat Kohli said that the team would have liked 30-40 runs less to chase on day five at the Optus Stadium.

After conceding their lead in the series, losing at Perth in the 2nd Test against Australia, Indian captain Virat Kohli said that the team would have liked 30-40 runs less to chase on day five at the Optus Stadium.

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“When you are out in the middle, you don’t think the target could have been lesser, but once you are out and see how difficult the situation was, that’s when you think maybe we would have liked 30-40 less to chase,” said Kohli during the post-match presentation.

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While Indian bowlers did remarkably well in the both the innings at Perth to get rid of the Australia’s top six for not that many, Australia’s last four added 75 runs in the first innings and 51 runs in the second. In comparison, India’s last four could only add 22 in the first innings and 21 runs in the second.

Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc combined for a stand of 36 runs for the tenth wicket on day four, and with the benefit of hindsight, one could say that partnership was the clincher for Australia in the second Test.

However, Kohli did concede that Australia were the better side throughout the match.

“As a team I think we played well in patches and that’s something that we can hold on to and take forward in the next game,” he said, adding, “Australia played better cricket than us, especially with the bat and getting 330 on that sort of a pitch was a bit too much. They deserved to win. Australia got stuck into it for a long period and put up the score on the board which on a pitch that was lively was always going to be challenging.”

The burning question right from the start of the match was whether India missed a trick by not playing a spinner and with Nathan Lyon, the only specialist spinner on show in the match, taking eight wickets and walking away with the Man-of-the-Match award, Kohli was left to defend his decision to go with four pacers.

“When we looked at the pitch, we didn’t think about that (Jadeja) option. We thought four quicks would be enough,” said Kohli.

“Nathan Lyon bowled really well on this wicket. With the skill levels and consistency that he has to get something out of this wicket was really good. We never thought about the spin option to be honest.”

Kohli scored a brilliant 123 out of the team total of 283 in the first innings and while experts regarded that knock as one of his best, Kohli downplayed his effort.

“When you don’t win, you don’t rank your performance. We didn’t get the result we wanted. I am focused on the next Test at the MCG and I hope I can contribute on a winning note. Boxing Day is going to be a full house, it’s a memorable Test for all of us and we as a team are also excited and looking forward to that Test match,” added the skipper.