Former South Africa pacer Allan Donald lauded South African bowlers for piling the pressure on Virat Kohli in the first ODI in Paarl.
South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series after a clinical 31-run victory against India at the Boland Park on Wednesday.
Centuries by skipper Temba Bavuma (110) and Rassie van der Duseen (129*) cruised the Proteas to register a commendable score of 296 in the first innings.
South African bowlers stormed back brilliantly in the game despite a 92-run stand between Kohli and opener Shikhar Dhawan threatening to take the game away from them.
Virat Kohli makes 51 in first ODI against South Africa
Playing in his first match after relinquishing captaincy from all formats, Kohli made unvarying 51 runs from 63 balls with just three boundaries in his stay at the crease.
After reaching his 63rd ODI fifty, three balls later Kohli attempted to sweep Tabraiz Shamsi for a big shot but ended up pouching one to Bavuma at mid-wicket.
Kohli had drastically changed his technique in the Test series by showing a good amount of patience in leaving the balls.
Coming into the white-ball format, Kohli had a similar approach of not attacking the bowlers as he kept rotating the strike with singles and doubles.
Not sure if Virat was exposed technically: Allan Donald
Kohli’s dismissal on 51 meant his fans have to be more patient for his 71st international hundred, something they have been waiting for more than two years.
Donald said that South African bowlers bowled with disciplined areas to the star Indian batter and built pressure around him.
Donald also said that Kohli is not invincible but acknowledged that great players go through a rough patch citing former Australia skipper Steve Smith’s example.
“I’m not sure if Virat was exposed technically, but South Africa hammered away at the basic areas and let the pitch do the business when bowling to him. The bowlers piled on the basic pressure really well,” Donald said, as reported by Hindustan Times.
“Is Virat invincible? No. But even the greatest have gone through a slump, as the game is a great leveller. Even Steve Smith hasn’t really been on fire since his comeback after the ball-tampering issue. I know Virat’s standards and I’m sure he will be back at some point. It won’t take long,” he added.
India will play the second ODI against South Africa on January 21 at the very same venue as KL Rahul and his men will try to level the series 1-1.