In spite of losing the toss, India were right on top in the first Test match against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium. In a shocking shift of momentum, Sri Lanka bounced back strongly to win the Test match. At one point of time, the hosts were trying to avoid a follow on and yet ended up winning the match. This certainly did not make Indian captain Virat Kohli happy.
"I think all the players are disappointed by the way we batted today, as batting has been our strength in the past few months. There are no excuses and there is lot to learn from the loss. We did not counter what was being thrown at us. I think we should have been smarter batting against the spinners. We had to take calculated risks in the fourth innings when we were chasing a small total and intent had to be there, which I think was lacking. Definitely it's an area of improvement," Kohli told reporters after losing the first of the three Test matches to Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Kohli lauded the Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews and his men for their performance and congratulated them as well. He went on to slam the Indian batsmen along with himself, who he felt succumbed to the pressure and kept on throwing their wickets away. A crafty spell from Rangana Herath (picked up 7 wickets) sunk the Indian batting lineup. Earlier, it was Dinesh Chandimal, whose heroics with the willow helped Sri Lanka to take a lead of 176 runs.
"We got no one to blame, but ourselves. Credit to Angelo Mathews and his team for playing good cricket today. We failed to capitalise after taking the first five wickets [in the second innings] and Sri Lanka dominated from there. One bad session and things can turn around quickly, that is Test cricket," Kohli said.
The Indian captain was happy with the way the Indian bowlers bowled, especially the spinners. He backed his bowling attack that successfully picked up 20 Sri Lankan wickets.
"Our bowling in the second innings was spot on, in fact in both innings. We were able to take 20 wickets, which is important. As we had led from first innings our spinners went on attacking mode to take wickets. They countered that by playing fearless cricket. Just an hour-and-a-half of bad session for us cost us the match," Kohli added.