New Delhi: After India slumped to a humiliating 333-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the opening Test in Pune, legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has shown faith on Virat Kohli and the team, saying that the series is still wide open and that the home side will surely bounce back in the next match to be held in Bengaluru from March 4.
Chasing a mammoth target of 441 runs to win, India suffered a second batting collapse in two days and were bowled out for 107 runs in the second innings just on Day Three of the first Test at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium.
Speaking on the sidelines of IDBI Federal New Delhi Marathon at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the master blaster said that losing is a part and parcel of the game before adding that he is sure his national side would come up with a much better performance in the upcoming matches.
“Yes, it was a tough game for us. And it is a part and parcel of the game. That doesn’t mean that the series is close. Series is still wide open. Knowing the spirit of the Indian team, I know that they will fight back hard and the Australian team also knows about it. Because when we played in Australia we beat them, we knew that they will come back really hard. That is what makes sport interesting. This is what sportsmen play for,” Tendulkar said.
“There are good and tough moments. But it is all about how you stand back on your feet again and start competing and I have no doubt that the Indian team is going to come back and compete hard,” he added.
The loss ended India’s winning streak of 19 matches on the trot and also the 17 match home-winning streak. This was also Kohli’s first defeat as captain in Test cricket at home.
India last tasted a home defeat in Tests in 2012 against England.
On a dry, turning pitch that should have suited India’s spinners, Smith scored the only hundred of the match and Steve O’Keefe took as many wickets as Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja combined. O’Keefe was declared Man of the Match.
His 12 for 69 were the best figures ever by a visiting spinner in a Test on Indian soil. He was well supported by Nathan Lyon who picked up four in the second innings.
India are now 0-1 down in the four-match series and going into the second Test, they have a lot to think about, especially about their batting. (ANI)