Team India skipper Virat Kohli in the post-match presentation on Monday evening said they are looking forward to working hard and improve in the next game while adding the bowlers have done their job and credited goes to South Africa for making most of the familiar conditions which subsequently saw him ruing while missing couple of opportunities.
“If we had taken our chances in the first innings, even after them counter-attacking, we could have kept them to 220. We’re not a team which thinks of what-ifs though,” Kohli started off while responding to Shaun Pollock’s question.
The 28-year-old Kohli, who scored five in the first and 28 in the second innings, has further praised the bowling effort and remarked they have made the mistakes and pointed out they were looking to have a player who could have added minimum of 75 on the board.
“We were thinking 250, 275 if they play well. It was a great effort by the bowlers. We needed someone to get a 75-80. Credit to them, they were a bowler short and still bowled their heart out. We need to rectify our mistakes also,” Kohli maintained.
The fourth day of the 1st Sunfoil Test series in Cape Town has sprung many surprises throughout the day which further saw the batsman struggled on a surface that remained under the covers whole day on Sunday following the persistent rainfall which further saw the day three didn’t witness even a single delivery.
Interestingly, the Newland surface saw 18 wickets on day four before the hosts won the first Test in Cape Town.
“Mini collapses in both innings is something we have to think about. This game is all about stringing in partnerships. They did that better than us. Bowlers learned pretty quickly,” Kohli asserted.
The pace trio for the Proteas in the form Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada has sent India into the sticky situation early on before wrapping the innings in 42.4 overs on 135.
At one stage, India was struggling at 82 for seven in 29 overs, but the late-order resistance has kept India in the hunt as Ravichandran Ashwin ( 37 off 53), and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13 off 41) knitted the partnership of 49 runs.
But, the Proteas leader Faf du Plessis pulled a masterstroke when he asked gloveman Quinton de Kock to come right at the stumps and on the very next moment Ashwin edged the ball which settled into the gloves of de Kock on the bowling of Vernon Philander, who bagged wickets in the innings and nine in the match.
Earlier India was 30 for no loss before Cape Town hero Philander kept on picking the wickets.
The day unfolded with the wicket of South African batting mainstay Hashim Amla before the hosts were skittled at 130 in the second innings, however, the first innings lead of 77 saw India required 208 on a pitch which seemed to have demons in it.
“We kept pulling things back against a side which is very strong about us. The mindset matters when you’re traveling away from home. You need to grab scoring opportunities,” Kohli explained.
However, Kohli alongside Rohit Sharma showed some resistance, but that was cut short on a bowling friendly condition from both Wynberg End and Kelvin Grove End
In first innings, the Proteas post 286 runs 73.1 overs, as skipper Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers struck half-centuries each.
Kohli has praised the efforts of seam bowling allrounder Hardik Pandy while stating the latter has been vital for the side.
“He’s (Hardik Pandya) a strong character. He’s performing for us now, even away from home. That knock was brilliant,” Kohli concluded.
India in response was bundled out on 209 in 73.4 overs. All-rounder Pandya was the top-scorer for India with 93 off 95 balls.
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