India were outplayed in the opening Test of the four-match series against Australia at Pune. The 333-run defeat has led to plenty of backlash. However, former India batsman VVS Laxman, who had an excellent record against the Aussies during his playing career, backed Virat Kohli and the team to fight back, describing the Pune loss as a one-off.
"There are lessons to be learnt for India, and knowing how much pride there is in that dressing-room, I can state with certainty that those lessons will be learnt not just thoroughly, but also quickly," Laxman said in a column for the website cricket country.
On the extreme reactions to India's defeat, Laxman explained," I will put some of the extreme backlash down to the quality of cricket the team has played in recent times and therefore the expectations they have raised, but while the fans are feeling let down, no one will be hurting more than the men who were at the receiving end of that drubbing.
Laxman went on to add that he could somewhat feel the pain of the team. "I can almost feel the pain of Virat and Anil and the rest of the team. This is not a time for recrimination or finger-pointing. Instead, it is time for introspection, time to figure out what could have been done better and what could have been avoided, and what needs to be done now to turn things around."
The pitch at Pune came in for plenty of criticism. A rank turner, Australia finished India off inside three days. About it, Laxman stated, "It is debatable if there will be a Pune-type pitch for the rest of the series, and I strongly advocate that there should not be."
The second Test begins in Bengaluru from March 4 and Laxman is confident of an Indian fightback. "That this is a four-Test series is to India's advantage. There is plenty of time to bounce back from the Pune defeat, and especially given the quality that is at Virat's disposal," Laxman concluded.
--By A Cricket Correspondent