A disappointed Virat Kohli conceded that his side was "completely outplayed" by New Zealand in the two-Test series and it can't live in denial about "not being brave enough" to counter adverse conditions.
India’s batting was in shambles in the two-Test series and the skipper said that with a packed schedule the team management will have to find solutions despite time constraints.
"Obviously, quite disappointed with how we played in this series. I feel like we were completely outplayed in this series," declared Kohli, forthright in his assessment following the seven-wicket loss in the second Test, at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, on Monday.
"We obviously didn't play the kind of cricket we do as a team. The thing to take away from here is to not shy away from things that have gone wrong and instead address them straight up, and not be in denial."
Asked to point out what exactly went wrong, Kohli felt the outlook towards a series in adverse conditions was "not ideal".
“I think the outlook, as far as I am concerned and as far as I saw things happening, was not ideal for us in this series. We were not positive enough. We were not brave enough in moments which we have done in the past. Skills follow your mindset, simple as that."
However, he did not like New Zealand being called India's "bogey team", having lost to the Black Caps in the 2019 World Cup semi-final and two series in the white and red ball formats.
"I am sure no one was saying that in first half of the tour," he said, referring to India’s 5-0 win in the T20 series.
"You can't just make a team a bogey team because of one Test series defeat and a semi-final loss. They played better cricket on that day and in this Test series, and there is no shame in accepting that.
"We are not trying to create some controversy by tagging a team or naming a bogey team or something like that."
Does the team have enough time to iron out the flaws considering the amount of cricket it plays?
"There are two ways to look at it. I would much rather be in the middle and try to correct those things rather than having too much time in between and waiting for a game to arrive so that you can figure out whether you have corrected it or not.
"The advantage of playing a lot of cricket is that if you are working on something, you have many games to try and execute it straight up. It's the way you look at it. As I said, it needs to be balanced. Neither can you over-think nor be in denial. It works differently for different people."
Asked about specific mistakes that this team can rectify, Kohli said that clarity of mind is paramount.
"Something (clarity) we failed to do as a batting unit, and I truly believe that we made too much of the conditions from the first day onwards, of the first Test: overcast, a bit of dampness on the pitch -- we never spoke of these things before.
"If you're not clear in your head then the feet don't move, you're not quite sure whether to play the shot or not, leave the ball or play the ball. I think these sorts of things can creep in, and which have crept in our game in this series. It's something we have recognised already."