Virat Kohli walked out to bat when Shikhar Dhawan perished for yet another low score and then after a brief period, India lost two more quick wickets. The captain held fort and scored a brilliant 41st ODI ton, but around him, there was no support as India surrendered the match by 32 runs. This has irked Kohli, who has put his batsmen on notice.
Kohli was asked this specific question in the post-match presentation and he was candid in accepting that this could be a problem area going forward. "No team wants to do that. We are a team that takes a lot of pride in our cricket, and we are a team that has strung in partnerships.
"We have lost just two wickets or so [in the past] and we haven't lost many in bunches before, but it's happened already a couple of times in this series. And that's something that we are looking forward to plugging in the next couple of games," he said.
He stressed on the need to forge mini-partnerships through the middle phase which will form the basis of chasing and setting up strong totals in any game situation.
'Need to get mini-partnerships in the middle'
"The guys who have got out, I'm sure they want to make the most of those opportunities. We don't want to see any more collapses. We want to see mini-partnerships to get us going and then get a strong total in the middle or chase totals like we had to today," he further added.
On a pitch which assisted stroke-making, Kohli galloped along to 123 off 95 balls, but then he was not very happy with himself for perishing at a crucial juncture when India needed 95 off 75 balls.
"I was really disappointed I got out - I really thought we had a chance there with the difference of 20 between balls and runs. That's what happens - Australia played better and Adam bowled really well and they deserved to win," a very 'disappointed' Kohli said.
Australia posted the score on the back of an exceptional opening stand between Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch. While Finch fell excruciatingly short of his century, Khawaja motored along to notch up his maiden ODI century. The visitors are still in the series and after this, they will start to believe again.
India will ring in changes for the final two ODIs, and after the stern message from the captain, the batsmen should rally around him and put up a more defiant show even as the world cup looms large.