Centurion: While Virat Kohli made it clear that his 153 held hardly any value following India’s defeat in the second Test against South Africa here on Wednesday, the Indian skipper was in combative mood in the post-match press conference as he lost cool during the media interaction.
Although the Indian skipper clearly stated that he was not there to comfort his guys, he snapped at media following his team’s series loss, with a Test still to be played.
Here’s how the entire saga unfolded during the press conference:
Q) Last couple of years playing in subcontinent conditions, you got a formula to excel on pitches like these. Fast bowlers from both teams have said this is more like a subcontinent pitch. How much does this loss hurt that despite having that formula you could perhaps not get the best XI out and win this match?
Virat Kohli (VK) What's the best XI?
Q) Was it your best XI?
VK) But if we had won this, was this the best XI?
Q) Again...It's a pitch that was much more subcontinental...
VK) I am saying that we don't decide XI according to the results.
Q) My question was about the pitch...
VK) But you're saying... you're telling me we could have played the best XI. So you tell me the best XI and we'll play that. I'm saying the loss obviously hurts. But you make one decision and you back it. We certainly don't sit here and say, 'oh if you fail in one game you are not good enough to be at this level or...' Once the team loses. Didn't we lose in India? We had the best XI there. Whoever plays should be good enough to go out there and do the job for the team. That's why we've got such a big squad. Because we believe in their abilities and they are good enough to be at this level but you need to do that collectively as a team. You can't pinpoint and say this is the best XI.' We played with teams before that have looked really strong and have lost as well. So, I certainly don't bend towards that opinion at all.
Although Kohli did whatever he could with the bat in the first innings to keep India in the game, he came under fire for his team selection; mainly dropping Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was India’s best bowler in the Cape Town Test, for Ishant Sharma and not picking Ajinkya Rahane, who has the best away record in the current Indian team.
Kohli did not seem too pleased with when the question was asked about his tendency to change and chop the side in all the Tests he has led India.
Q) You spoke about it not coming together well - has that maybe been because of the chopping and changing of selection? In over 30 Tests that you have been captain, you have changed your starting line-up in each and every Test you have played? To win Test matches you need consistency, and you have been lacking that part. What would you put that down to, and how would you say that you will continue changing your team and still expect different results?
VK) How many Test matches have we won out of 34?
Q) In how many have you changed the XI?
VK) How many have we won? How many have we won? Twenty one wins. Two losses (five). How many draws?
Q) How many in India?
VK) Does it matter? Wherever we play we try to do our best. I'm here to answer your questions, not to fight with you.
The third and final Test of the series will begin on January 24 in Johannesburg....