Every spin bowler in the Australian cricket team, post the Shane Warne era, tackled scoffs and derisions, irrespective of their performance. Cricket pundits couldn’t spot a Warne among his successors – Brad Hogg, Stuart MacGill or a Nathan Lyon.

The 47-year-old, in India for commentary commitments in the ongoing India-Australia Test series, followed the usual trend and pinched Steve O’Keefe, the slow left-arm bowler who eventually won the Man of the Match for his match-haul of 13/70 in the first Test against India here. The senior pro had called him the “weakest” in the Australian attack a few minutes before he triggered the Indian collapse.

The tables turned and the tourists stunned the hosts within three days. They not only won the rubber by 333 runs, they also paused Virat Kohli’s unbeaten run in whites. He hadn’t lost a Test since the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle two years ago. Australia won a Test on Indian soil after 13 years, the last being in Nagpur in 2004.

But is O’Keefe, the real hero of the match? Kohli somewhat echoed Warne’s initial thoughts about the bowler who is into his fifth Test at the age of 32. The Indian skipper did praise him for his exploits but his primary analysis about the Test centered around the mistakes made by Indian batsmen. “I think our spinners bowled really well too. I won’t say they did better, out batsmen didn’t apply themselves. Even a part-time bowler can pick up four wickets if batsmen don’t apply themselves. This was our worst batting performance and we need to accept that,” he said at the post match conference.

Kohli, who slammed a double ton (204) against Bangladesh a fortnight ago, scored 0 and 13 in the first and second innings respectively. He misjudged a straight one from O’Keefe that kissed the back of his off-stump. It is difficult to run into his stumps and the Aussie spinner did what many star bowlers couldn’t. The 28-year-old batsman kept his ego aside and took the blame. “I left the ball too early, it was a judgement error. I should have waited for the ball a bit more. You can’t say which ball will turn and which won’t. You got to play the line and I didn’t do that, it was my fault,” he added.

Kohli summed up the lacklustre show on the basis of their poor performance in the first innings. “We put ourselves into a lot of pressure with the way we batted in the first innings. Conceding a 150-run lead in this sort of a wicket is criminal. It is difficult to pull things back from there. Even a bowler’s mindset is different in the second innings. Our batsmen put us into that position. It is not how we should bat,” reasons Kohli.

However, the gutsy cricketer isn’t used to failures. He promised to bounce back from the next Test. “One should be calm and take failures to the chin. But we cannot take anything granted at any stage. We tried to show a bit of intent in the second innings but when you have a massive target (441), a bowler wouldn’t mind conceding four fours and come back with a wicket. The mindset changes when you don’t have a good first innings performance,” he asserted.

Though India lost seven wickets within 11 runs, Kohli’s words did not make a star out of O’Keefe.