Last Update on: December 27th, 2021 at 10:52 am
Former Indian pace bowler Ashish Nehra said that India is missing the firing of Virat Kohli and noted that the skipper’s form is a bit of concern.
India embarked on their South Africa tour on Sunday after dominating the hosts with 272/3 at the end of stumps on Day 1 of the first Test in Centurion.
KL Rahul smashed a crackling hundred as he remained undefeated on 122 with his opening partner Mayank Agarwal got dismissed on 60. Ajinkya Rahane, who was under the hammer for his batting form, also found some rhythm in his 81-ball 40*.
However, Kohli made 35 from 94 balls before he threw his wicket while chasing a full-length delivery pitched outside off stump by Lungi Ngidi, that he poked towards Wiaan Mulder at first slip.
Nehra said Kohli wouldn’t be happy with himself in the manner he got dismissed and feels the Indian batter is giving away his wicket to the bowlers.
“You expect runs from someone like Kohli. He would be unhappy with his performance. But if you look at the stats, Kohli has scored runs in the previous away series in England conditions. He has the hunger to score hundreds and double hundreds and he would be a bit unhappy with himself today,” Nehra told Cricbuzz.
“Looking at the way he’s been dismissed, it’s a bit of concern. South Africa bowlers made Kohli play a loose shot and this has been a problem lately. Kohli has been giving his wickets to bowlers. Looking at today’s dismissal, we understand how Kohli has been out facing swinging deliveries aimed around the fourth stump. In such cases, you need the batter to leave those deliveries; we saw that from KL Rahul today,” he added.
We haven’t seen the Virat Kohli whom we saw 2-3 years back: Ashish Nehra
Kohli hasn’t scored an international hundred for more than two years with his last one came against Bangladesh in the pink-ball Test in Kolkata in November 2019.
Nehra pointed out that India is missing the Kohli who used to score rapidly a few years ago and only getting the three-figures score will help him gain confidence.
“You expect Kohli to play those 135-150 kmph deliveries on the front foot but when the ball starts moving and bounces too, any player would face difficulties. We haven’t seen the Kohli whom we saw 2-3 years back. But once he gets out of this zone, he will be unstoppable,” Nehra said.
“But Kohli’s mentality and understanding of the game will help him score that much-awaited knock. He had scored 74 in the Adelaide Test against Australia this year and another such knock isn’t far away,” he added.
Ngidi also got the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara and Agarwal to finish the day with three wickets for 45 runs.
Also Read: IND vs SA: Watch – Virat Kohli Nicks Off Lungi Ngidi As His Wait For 71st Century Continues