Virat Kohli says India have to use experience to become better cricketers

Virat Kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli was left frustrated after his team failed to make the most of a historic victory over South Africa in the opening Test of their Freedom Trophy series.

Kohli had set his sights on claiming a first-ever series win in South Africa and such was his team’s form that they were made favourites.

India found South Africa relentless, though and Kohli pinpointed batting failures as the reason India lost the series.

South Africa relied heavily on their pace attack to keep them in the game but India’s skipper rued his own team’s failure to make the most of their momentum.

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At the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli said: “It’s a great spectacle of Tests for everyone to watch; hard-fought series.

“Great first game but SA did amazingly well.

“In both Tests they won, they were clinical with the ball in crunch moments.

“Lapses of concentration cost us key moments, and they seized those moments; absolutely deserving winners in the end.

“As I said, one of the challenges we’ve faced touring abroad is make sure capitalising on momentum, when we’ve done that we’ve won Tests away from home.

“When we haven’t, they’ve cost us quite bad.

“We have had a few collapses that have cost us important moments and Test matches.

“It’s batting; can’t pin-point any other aspect.

“People talk about pace and bounce, considering their heights, they were able to get much more off the wickets in all three Tests.

“They applied pressure long enough for us to make mistakes.

“It’s the understanding of conditions for them which they know very well. The batting has to be looked into, no running away from that.

“Having collapses every now and then is not a good thing.

“Obviously very disappointed, we know how far we’ve come as a team.

“That people expect us to beat SA in SA is testimony to how far we’ve come.

“We haven’t done it, that’s the reality, accept it and come back as better cricketers. Got to credit the opposition where due.”

Kohli gave plaudits to India’s opening batsmen KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant, who struck an unbeaten hundred in the decisive Test.

“I think the way KL batted as an opener was heartening, Mayank got stuck in on a couple of occasions, bowling was outstanding, few crucial knocks from the guys in the middle period, Rishabh’s knock in this Test was special, Centurion win was special too,” Kohli added.

“Take the positives and move ahead, come back as better cricketers.