It's not us against you, Virat Kohli
"We know we haven’t played well but if people want to make a big deal out of it, make a mountain out of it, we can’t help it as we don’t think like that."
Indian skipper Virat Kohli commented at the post-match media interaction after the visitors suffered a 10-wicket loss at Wellington.
Let's put this comment into perspective by analysing his follow up statements.
"For some people, it might be the end of the world but it’s not. For us, it’s a game of cricket that we lost and we move on and keep our heads high."
It's definitely not the end of the world, but if the captain of the world's no.1 Test side thinks this is no big deal and that it can be dismissed as just "a game of cricket", he is certainly delusional.
The Ravi Shastri - Virat Kohli reign has been characterized by a pretty evident 'us vs you' attitude. Right from the overseas tour of South Africa, the Indian management has attacked the media which has questioned their performances away from home.
The same management that feels this loss is no big deal had called the Test series triumph in Australia massive and hailed this as one of the best Indian touring sides. It must be remembered that the series triumph in Australia came with David Warner and Steven Smith - two of the strongest batsmen in the Aussie line-up - absent.
A look at Kohli's captaincy record in SENA countries paints a different picture. Out of 15 Test matches, India have won just four and lost nine games. This includes series losses in England, South Africa and Australia. The only series win has come in Australia.
The series in New Zealand is now either lost or drawn with the hosts winning the first Test. The fact remains that despite being the no.1 Test side, India have largely underperformed in SENA countries.
It isn't just Kohli's India or India alone that face criticism or backlash when there's a loss. As the skipper of the no.1 side in the world, Kohli is expected to raise the standards the team sets and not push aside any criticism that comes their way by biting back.
The sheer complacency in his statements is unmissable and if after four successive losses - three in the ODIs and now in the first Test - isn't enough reason for this to be a big deal, Kohli needs to redefine his idea of what constitutes a big deal. That he takes every criticism in an 'us vs you' fashion does not augur well for team India.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Marty Melville