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No repeat of Pune, promises Kohli

Indian captain Virat Kohli assured that his team will never repeat the kind of “bad performance” and “lack of intent” that led to the humiliating opening Test loss to Australia in Pune.

No repeat of Pune, promises Kohli
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Virat Kohli

Bengaluru

The Indians were hammered by 333 runs in the first Test inside three days in a stunning defeat, which ended their 19-match unbeaten streak. Ahead of the second Test starting here on Saturday, Kohli said the hosts have learnt their lessons from the debacle. “You will not see such a bad performance again, I will assure you that,” said the feisty captain in a pre-match press conference on Friday .”It is important to accept defeats. We lost the Pune match because of lack of intent. Australia played better cricket. It is important to accept defeat, if you go by your ego or ignore it, it will affect you only. It doesn’t mean losing in Pune would result in us losing the other matches also,” he added. 

Kohli said it was a rare collective failure for the Indians. “Sometimes such defeats are necessary. This gave us a platform to understand where we lacked. It happens very rarely that the whole team does not perform, this is what happened in the last match. We learnt a lot from that loss,” Kohli said.”Even if we win or lose, our preparation remains the same. The intensity remains the same even if we lose or win a match. Basically you don’t change the practice depending upon the result,” he added. Kohli refused to divulge what changes are likely to be made in the playing XI though he promised “surprises”. “We have a combination in mind and we will finalise it when we sit together this evening. There are all kinds of possibilities tomorrow there could be a few surprises,” he said. However, Kohli did confirm that all-rounder Hardik Pandya was not yet fit to be considered for selection. “Hardik Pandya is not available for selection. He has a niggle in his shoulder. Rest of them are fit and available.”

Though Steve Smith’s men were labelled the weakest Australian team ever to tour India, the captain scored a hundred in Pune. Asked how the home team would look to negate the Smith factor, Kohli said, “Our focus is not only on him. I think the whole team has to play against Australia to win the Test match. We are not focussing on one player at all.” “All 10 wickets have to be taken twice to win a Test match, that is something we already have marked,” he added. Kohli dismissed the Starc scare.“I don’t think there will be any extra sort of variation added to his bowling suddenly. He is the bowler he is. We have to accept that and face him the best way as a batsman,” he said. Kohli efused suggestions that they are under pressure as rival captain Smith said.

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