India cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday came out in strong support of Virat Kohli's men after they were comprehensively beaten by South Africa in the Centurion Test. "Its time to show support for Indian team and not being over-the-top critical. This was the team that had such a fabulous run, two games don't make them bad. Rather than being severe on our boys, let's just give credit to d opposition @BCCI. Simple: Well played @OfficialCSA," he tweeted after fans were critical of the Indian team for a meek against the South Africans.
Its time to show support for Indian team and not being over-the-top critical. This was the team that had such a fabulous run, two games don't make them bad. Rather than being severe on our boys, let's just give credit to d opposition @BCCI. Simple: Well played @OfficialCSA— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 17, 2018
Kohli was unsparing in his analysis after India's streak of nine successive series wins was ended in emphatic fashion on Wednesday.
"We need to be hard on ourselves," said Kohli after India were blown away by debutant fast bowler Lungi Ngidi on the fifth day of the second Test at SuperSport Park.
The 21-year-old took six for 39 as South Africa clinched the three-match series with a 135-run win.
"We need to ask ourselves if we are giving 120 percent for the team every time we play a ball, bowl a ball or field a ball," said Kohli.
"As a team we will definitely lay out these things in the open and ask the guys to be honest about what they were thinking about at particular stages of the game."
Kohli acknowledged that South Africa had outplayed India on a slow pitch.
"These conditions are something we are used to," he said. "South Africa collectively were a much better team than us."
India remain the number one team in the Test rankings but second-placed South Africa can draw level with them on points if they complete a clean sweep with a win in the third Test in Johannesburg, starting on January 24.
Kohli dismissed suggestions that India were no longer worthy of their top ranking after the two defeats.
"We have to believe we are the best side. We have had opportunities to win in both games so that is the positive we can take out of it," he said.
(With inputs from AFP)