Virat Kohli was critical of his batsmen’s overcautious approach during the first Test against New Zealand in Wellington, believing the tactics never quite pay off. Kohli’s comments come in wake of Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari‘s slow batting in the second innings, where they combined to score 26 runs off 160 balls.

Pujara scored 11 off 81, while Vihari played out 79 balls for his 15 as India failed to gain momentum and were eventually bowled out for 191.

“I think the language we use as a batting unit, that has to be correct. I don’t think being cautious or wary will help because you might stop playing your shots,” Kohli said.

“You will start doubting that if even singles are not coming in those conditions, what will you do? You are just waiting for when that good ball will come and you will be dismissed. (If) you have that acceptance that it’s ok if you are out to a good ball, at least I don’t think that way.”

Kohli, instead, felt it always works to play counter-attacking cricket which tends to throw the opposition off guard. The India captain further weighed in saying that going into a shell may protect wickets for a while, but not scoring runs eventually fuels the bowler’s confidence of eventually getting a wicket.

“If I see a situation, if it is a green wicket, then I try to play counter-attacking cricket so that I can take the team forward. If you don’t succeed, then you have to accept that your thinking was correct, you tried but if it didn’t come off, fair enough. There is no harm in accepting that. But I don’t think a cautious approach ever pays off, especially away from home,” he said.

Kohli said winning not winning the toss was a factor in India’s loss, but did not make any excuses and praised New Zealand for being the better team. Heading into Christchurch for the second Test, Kohli weighed in on the improvements required by India, one of which is clarity of mind about plans and their executions.

“If we start thinking too much about the conditions, then you won’t be able to focus on your batting. When you are not playing in your (home) conditions, the game becomes more mental. We can sometimes get into too many technical discussions. But if your mind is clear, then any condition looks easy,” he said.

“Then it doesn’t seem as if a lot is happening with the ball or that the bowling attack is tough. We will follow the same positive frame of mind we have been in. We were not able to execute in this game but when we do so, we know what we can achieve.”