Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Ind vs SA: Lively pitch will test us, says skipper Virat Kohli

Ahead of the second Test in Johannesburg the Ravi Shastri-coached side visited the India House here where they met the High Commissioner India vs South Africa: Hardik Pandya backs himself and we believe in him, says Virat Kohli
Melissa Porter | 14 January, 2018, 13:38

India skipper Virat Kohli on Friday said that the players need to put in more efforts as the team can not afford to play loose shots.

Highlighting the contrast in their performances, Ganguly added, "The history of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in overseas conditions is not very good". In his dying declaration, Bariya said that he was upset over Kohli's wicket. Rohit scored a century and two half-centuries in the three-Test series against Sri Lanka at home, which India won 1-0. "Getting them out for 130, 208 felt chaseable, felt very realistic; but again, we needed someone to go out there and get 75 or 80, and not 20-25-30 runs".

Rahane has a Test century in New Zealand, England, Australia, Sri Lanka and West Indies, just missing out in South Africa and Bangladesh by a couple of runs, while Rahul too has three centuries on foreign pitches. In the match, Dhawan twice got out for 16 and Rohit made 11 and 10, both falling to the rapid pace of the hosts. And in a bid to reclaim foothold and pull themselves back in the series, the skipper Virat Kohli made quite a few interesting selections ahead of the deciding second Test which kicked off at Centurion earlier today.

It is important to note that though Kohli says that no one thought Rahane should be in the XI for the first Test, it was actually completely different. Citing that Ishant might benefit with his height, Virat Kohli has hurt Bhuvneshwar Kumar's self-confidence. "It seems highly unlikely that they will not be given a second chance". "But, the top order and middle order failed to perform in the first Test and Rahane will be a valuable addition to the line-up", he said.

Virat was asked how close was Rahane to making a comeback to the side after being kept out of the Cape Town Test.

But Ganguly believes that Steyn's absence will not be a problem for Faf du Plessis' side and all-rounder Chris Morris will be an able replacement for the fast bowler.

Kohli also stressed the need to keep calm as a unit: "I don't think we need to panic because of collapses. With (Chris) Morris coming in, they will have more strength in batting and that will help them in the series", Ganguly said.