Perth: India batsman Virat Kohli said that it was bad luck and not lack of temperament or technique that has been ailing the Indian team in its poor run in the ongoing four-Test series against Australia.
India were again shot out for 161 runs in the first innings shortly after tea on the first day of the third Test at the WACA Ground on Friday. India are already trailing 0-2 in the series and are now staring at another loss.
Kohli, who top-scored for his team with 44, said India lacked in nothing more than a few lucky breaks at crucial times.
Kohli top-scored for his team with 44 as India were shot out for just 161 at Perth on Day 1.
"Luck is a very important thing in cricket, and unfortunately (it) hasn't been going our way in important phases just before breaks, after breaks," Kohli said.
"We've lost important wickets at important times of the match - just before lunch, tea or close. That's all that's been happening. I don't think anyone has a lack of temperament or technique. It's just that things haven't been going our way recently."
"We had put on 80 runs (for the fifth wicket with VVS Laxman) and were looking to convert it to 150. But we couldn't and that's what is happening."
"I don't think it's a case that we are not mentally competing with them. It's just that we haven't done well in those important phases and Australia have," he said.
Kohli and VVS Laxman were dismissed before tea by Peter siddle. While Kohli mistimed a drive and was caught by David Warner at point, Laxman edged one to Michael Clarke.
"You need to hit bad balls for boundaries in international cricket. Since they are not giving you much, you have to convert loose balls into boundaries. I tried to go for one but couldn't execute it. It's not as if I tried to slog the ball," he explained.
Kohli also said his teammates have to stay positive in their stroke-play.
"You just can't go into a shell. You need to put away bad balls. Australia came out and played their shots. I'm not saying we should play more shots. I'm saying the loose deliveries we have to put them away. We've tried to but we haven't been able to execute properly. Sometimes you have edges flying in gaps and sometimes it doesn't. Unfortunately, it hasn't gone our way."
"They bowled well and forced ourselves to play shots ... but there are still four days to go. Anything can happen in cricket. It's just one day. We still have four days left of Test match. I don't rate it as the worst day of Test match cricket I've experienced. They might lose wickets in a cluster, so you never know. It's a funny game," he said.
Kohli also talked about the little verbal spat he got into with Warner in the last session of play.
"They have been saying a lot about averages to Indian batsmen. Warner and (Ed) Cowan, Ishant (Sharma) and myself got a bit into that stuff. It goes on in cricket. He (Warner) was under pressure when he started. He had been out playing defensively and today he wanted to go after (the bowlers). It came off well for him."
Meanwhile, Kohli also hit back at his critics, who have been calling for his head after a string of poor performances during the Australia tour.
Kohli has so far played just six Test matches, but he has failed miserably in the current series Down Under, with his highest score being 44, which he made on Friday.
"I don't know why people are after me. Even after I made two 50s against the West Indies, after just one Test it was as if I was on the verge of being dropped. Hitting eight one-day international hundreds can't be a fluke, after all that is international cricket too," Kohli said.
"People have questioned my technique and temperament. I have batted at number 3 in ODIs and it's not that in all 70 matches I have batted in easy situations."
"I have learnt as much as I can but I have played just six Tests. It will help me in the future. It's not the end of the world nor is it the last series ever played. I have to keep working hard and not worry about being dropped," he added.
The 23-year-old didn't feel that batting at number 3 - his favourite position in the ODIs - is the solution.
"I don't want an easy way out. I want to bat in tough situations and learn from that experience. I don't want to play safe," said Kohli, who has been batting at number six in the series.
Kohli said he had made a few technical adjustments before he came in to bat in the Perth Test.
"I had decided to play straight and not towards onside early on. That's what I practiced in the nets on the last two days. I went in with a plan."