Indian stand-in captain KL Rahul stated that he was disappointed with the way they batted in the first innings and could have put up a larger total on the board after having a good toss.
The pitch in Johannesburg was topsy-turvy and tough for the batters to handle. Therefore, batting fourth was always going to be tough and India opted to bat first. Unfortunately, they folded up for 202 which came them to bite later on.
“If I have to be really harsh, after winning the toss we could have put 60-70 runs more. Shardul’s had a great Test match. In the few Test matches he’s played he’s really created that impact and won us games. The contribution he had with the bat was crucial as well. Hopefully, as a unit, a few more of us can put our hands up in the next Test and put up a performance that will get India a win,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Every Test match we play we feel we should win and want to win. That’s the kind of team we are, we compete really hard and we leave everything on the field. So yes a bit disappointing but credit to the way South Africa played. They really batted well and bowled well,” Rahul added.
“We always knew they could do something like that” – KL Rahul
Showing faith and confidence in under-fire batters, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul reckoned that they’ve been under the cosh but put up great performances in the second innings. Both batters scored fifties but India ended up on the losing side anyway.
“They’ve been great players for us, they’ve always done the job for the team over the years. They’ve obviously been under the pump a bit, but in the team, we believe Pujara and Ajinkya are our best middle-order batsmen. We always knew they could do something like that. Hopefully, that gives them confidence, and they can go out in the next test and put up an even better performance,” Rahul mentioned.
He also added that Virat Kohli is feeling much better and is all set to return for the third Test in Cape Town.