Captain Virat Kohli listed problems in the
Indian team after suffering a 2-1 series defeat against Dean Elgar-led South
African team and wasting a golden opportunity to script a maiden Test series win
in South Africa.

Also Read: South Africa beat India by 7 wickets to win Test series 2-1 on Day 4

“The batting has to be looked into, no
running away from that. Having collapses every now and then not a good
thing,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony after South
Africa emerged winners by seven wickets in the series-deciding third Test here.

“No excuses there. It’s really
disappointing for sure. We know how far we’ve come as a team. That people
expect us to beat South Africa in South Africa is testimony to how far we’ve
come. We haven’t done it, that’s the reality, accept it and come back as better
cricketers.” India won the series-opener in Centurion by 113 runs but
surprisingly caved in against an inexperienced South African team in the
remaining two matches, with their batters letting them down on more than one

Also Read: ‘Dropping catches won’t help’: Cheteshwar Pujara slammed by internet

Kohli though gave credit to his opponents
for the manner in which they staged the turnaround, a day after losing his cool
over a DRS decision.

“We had a great first game but South
Africa did amazingly well. In both Tests they won, they were clinical with the
ball in crunch moments. Lapse of concentration cost us key moments and they
seized those moments; South Africa were absolutely deserving winners in the
end.” The star-studded Indian team thus failed to add to its incredible
triumph in Australia last year, and Kohli attributed it to its inability to
grab the key moments and capitalising on the momentum.

Also Read: Watch | Kohli, Ashwin vent on stump mic after DRS overturns Elgar LBW

“As I said, one of the challenges
we’ve faced touring abroad is make sure capitalising on momentum, when we’ve
done that we’ve won Tests away from home. When we haven’t, they’ve cost us
quite bad.” Speaking about the areas that require immediate attention and
where they lost out to the Proteas, Kohli said, “Have had a few collapses
that have cost us important moments and Test matches. It’s batting; can’t
pinpoint any other aspect.

Also Read: India first Test team to lose all wickets to caught outs in a match

“People talk about pace and bounce,
considering their heights, they were able to get much more off the wickets in
all three Tests. They applied pressure long enough for us to make mistakes.
It’s the understanding of conditions for them which they know very well.”
Kohli was impressed by KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant’s centuries, counting them as
the positives from the series.

Also Read: 3rd Test: Cricket fraternity hails ‘biggest match winner’ Pant for ton vs SA

Team accepted the challenge: Elgar

South Africa captain Dean Elgar, meanwhile,
said his squad didn’t give up despite losing the first Test by a big margin.
“I think it will sink in a day or two, maybe this evening. Couldn’t be
prouder of the group. The guys responded brilliantly. After the first loss, had
a lot of hope knowing we can still win this.

Also Read: Dean Elgar’s DRS error compared to Sachin Tendulkar’s 2011 World Cup controversy

“I asked the players to respond in a
better nature, better way and they responded brilliantly. Challenging your
players within the group, need character to stand up.” Elgar lavished
praise on his inexperienced bowling attack that kept on asking tough questions
of the Indian batters.

“The way our bowling unit delivered
throughout the series is brilliant. I threw down the challenge after the first
game and the guys responded brilliantly.

Also Read: Watch | Keegan Petersen’s one-handed stunner to remove Pujara in 3rd Test

“It’s unreal to see how a group that
doesn’t have the repertoire or names can gel together as one. If you want to
operate at a high-performance level, have to have tough chats. If guys don’t
like it, it’s up to them to deal with.

“I’ve got an old-school mentality with
a new-school twist. Laid down challenges to senior players as well, great to
see them take it on board and deliver. Would like to think I gave us the best
message for us to go out and perform.