Kohli confident India will bounce back against the Proteas

Ruben Hill
January 13, 2018

India blew their chance in Cape Town and the challenge is going to be only stiffer up in Centurion for the second Test and Johannesburg for the third Test.

The India batsmen failed to capitalise after their bowlers skittled out South Africa for just 130 in their second innings, setting the visitors a target of 208 runs. "Especially when you are playing away from home, you need those 60-70-80 extra runs compared to back home because there your bowlers will be stronger", he said. He said the opening combination of the team will be decided after today's practice session. "We need to embrace that", he noted. "You finally come to a conclusion that feels balanced among all the situations you are thinking of". That being said, Rahane has better numbers than Rohit Sharma in South Africa: his 51* and 96 at Durban had come in the face of adversity; in the same match, Rohit had scores of 0 and 25.

One of the batsmen to thrive on bouncier surfaces, Ajinkya Rahane, was curiously left out of the team in Cape Town according to the criterion of form. The former captain observed that "There has been a lot of talk about the combination".

"For us as a team it's all about finding the right balance".

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. "I have tremendous regard for Virat Kohli and we will see an improved performance in the next game", Ganguly added.

While neither batsman can be blamed for staking places in the side just before this tour, in doing so they managed to keep out of the XI two players undoubtedly more suited to the seaming conditions in South Africa: Lokesh Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane. He's performing for us now, even away from home. I'm not saying that Ajinkya can not or will not start in this game.

India vs South Africa 2nd Test
Kohli confident India will bounce back against the Proteas

"I like people to be constructive and open and honest with us as players". You get a fair idea about where to bowl and what kind of lines to bowl.

"The pitch was outstanding".

His 12th five-wicket haul in Test cricket also included the prized wicket of Ravichandran Ashwin, who had conjured up hopes of a revival for India with a fighting 37. It is a test of character throughout for all five days.

"We did that similar thing in the past with Shikhar as well. But it is important we stay positive and confident as a team. looking forward to the next game".

Pacers account for more than twice as many Test wickets outside the subcontinent as spinners, a Mint analysis of ESPNcricinfo data shows. "We have to maintain composure when you get sudden change of bounce, which you experience in South Africa", added the skipper.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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