India Test skipper Virat Kohli has blamed the talented batting line-up for team’s humiliating 63-run defeat to hosts Sri Lanka on the first Test on Saturday.
Sri Lanka’s left-arm spinner Rangana Herath claimed seven wickets to bowl out India, chasing 176 in the second innings, for 112, to give Sri Lanka the victory at the Galle International Cricket Stadium.
Sri Lanka took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second Test begins on August 20 in Colombo.
“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 at the post match presentation ceremony here on Saturday.
The skipper heaped praise on Herath for his match-clinching performance.
“Credit to Rangana (Herath) for the way he bowled, he’s a world-class bowler, bowled attacking lines and put our batsmen under pressure. The pitch behaved strangely. Angelo chose to bat, I would have done the same, but the ball started spinning on the first day, Ashwin came into the game,” he said.
Sri Lanka batsman Dinesh Chandimal scored an unbeaten 162 to help the hosts avoid an innings defeat, after conceding a 192-run first inings lead, and take their second innings score to 367.
“But it played really nicely in the second innings. We thought the wicket would be more difficult to bat, but credit to the way Dinesh and the rest batted. They really kept Sri Lanka in the hunt,” the 26-year-old said.